Netflix Lays Off 150 Mostly U.S.-Based Employees

Netflix May 17 confirmed it has laid off 150 employees, less than 2% of its 11,000 global work force. The subscription streaming behemoth said the staffing cuts included mostly U.S.-based employees.

“These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance, which makes them especially tough as none of us want to say goodbye to such great colleagues,” Netflix representative said in an email. “We’re working hard to support them through this very difficult transition. A number of agency contractors have also been impacted by the news announced this morning.  We are grateful for their contributions to Netflix.”

The cuts come following a fiscal first quarter that saw Netflix a 200,000 net sub loss rather than a projected 2.5 million net gain. The sub growth downturn, which presages a projected two million sub loss in the current quarter, saw Netflix stock valuation plummet more than 50%.

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Sony Pictures Cuts Staff in Marketing, Distribution

Sony Pictures Entertainment is implementing staff cuts in marketing and distribution of its movies as it attempts streamline internal operations to better reflect changes in theatrical and consumer consumption of entertainment.

In a July 11 staff email, first reported by Variety, Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, said that the unnamed cuts (reportedly up to 25 employees) affected research and strategy, publicity, media, operations, consumer and distribution.

“The reorganization will help our department better reflect the realities of how movies are released today, and build the connective tissue needed internally and externally to be effective and efficient,” Greenstein wrote.

Specifically, SPE is combining trailer finishing, TV finishing, print advertising, legal clearances and ratings, and exhibitor relations under client services in its newly established “global digital centers” (GDC) marketing department, led by Ann-Elizabeth Crotty.

Global media planning GDC, led by Stefanie Napoli, will spearhead media and digital buying dollars, in addition to overseeing a newly planned “digital media performance buying team.”

Jamie Kramer leads a “business intelligence group” tasked with employing digital tools, data science, campaign and audience insights for movie campaigns.

Bryan Wessel directs an “audience and data-strategy group,” intended to act upon audience data.

“With these shifts and our emphasis towards digital, we are streamlining some of our more traditional marketing operations and consolidating various international and domestic groups into single global teams,” said Greenstein.

“These moves have resulted in the elimination of positions in our research and strategy, publicity, media, operations, consumer, and distribution groups. While many of these changes and decisions have been difficult, I’m confident that these steps will help us achieve our goals to become a stronger and more nimble organization.”