Layoffs, Furloughs Hit Hollywood Data and Research Firms | Exclusive

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National Research Group, MarketCast and Screen Engine cut jobs amid hardship caused by strikes and slowing streaming market

Screen Engine NRG MarketCast layoffs
The dual Hollywood strikes and slow streaming market has impacted Hollywood's data research companies. (Getty, Christopher Smith/TheWrap)

Three of the leading Hollywood data and analysis companies have downsized due to the industry strikes, TheWrap has learned. National Research Group and MarketCast instituted layoffs while Screen Engine has undergone furloughs.

A representative for MarketCast told TheWrap they had laid off 12 people in recent weeks. NRG laid off about 30 people of 303 employees, according to two individuals with knowledge of the company. Screen Engine furloughed about a dozen employees, the company told TheWrap.

All three companies specialize in data-driven analysis and research that benefits media and entertainment companies, conducting test screenings, pre-release research and marketing analysis. With the reduction in streaming shows and with feature film production shut down, executives said that there was less work and that they needed to cut costs.

Screen Engine CEO Robert Levin told TheWrap that temporary employee reductions were the result of the summer’s dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

“We executed some furloughs in relation to the impact on revenues regarding the strike,” Levin stated. “Where we sit, it’s going to be a while until we see production back to pre-strike levels.”

An executive with knowledge of the company said Screen Engine was taking a proactive approach, planning for an anticipated lag in production.

Levin declined to comment on the number of employees impacted. However, he expressed hope that once the industry was back on its feet, the impacted employees would be brought back to work.

A representative for MarketCast told TheWrap that their layoffs mostly impacted operations or back-office staff, resulting in 12 employees being let go amid a company of around 600 people.

“As part of our planned digital transformation and investments in new technology, MarketCast made reductions to our operations staffing along with a small number of researchers, some of whom were impacted by the strikes in Hollywood,” the spokesman said. “While we never take reductions to staffing lightly, these measures were necessary to continue to evolve the business and meet the needs of our clients.”

Two individuals told TheWrap that NRG made significant cutbacks. NRG didn’t respond to TheWrap’s multiple requests for comments.

“NRG scaled up really fast because of streaming work and then the streamers contracted quite a bit,” a high-level studio executive with knowledge told TheWrap. “MarketCast is only really profitable in the film space.”

The WGA strike came to an end on Tuesday, with hopes running high that the SAG-AFTRA strike will soon conclude.

TheWrap previously reported on an overall decline in the number of streaming feature films on the major platforms. Every company with skin in the game has been under pressure to reign in spending and cut costs.

The firms that specialize in market research in and around the entertainment industry could face a status quo where there are fewer mainstream theatrical films and fewer big-deal streaming films and shows that require the kind of analysis provided by these companies.


One response to “Layoffs, Furloughs Hit Hollywood Data and Research Firms | Exclusive”

  1. Unknown Avatar

    MarketCast laid off over 80 people, not 12.

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