Netflix Announces Layoffs During Major Marketing Shakeup

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Netflix announced a sudden major reorganization in its marketing strategy as well as a round of layoffs.

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Things may not be going as well for Netflix as the big red streaming giant may have us believe. This week, Netflix announced a sudden major reorganization in its marketing strategy as well as a round of layoffs. Is there trouble behind the scenes at Netflix?

The Hollywood Reporter reports that at least 15 people in Netflix’s marketing department are expected to lose their jobs this week. Netflix employs close to 7,000 employee, so 15 isn’t exactly a sea change – although the actual number may be significantly higher, sources say. The exact reasons for the layoffs are unclear, but it appears to be related to a major reorganization in Netflix’s marketing strategy. Netflix declined to comment on the report. 

For years, Netflix has marketed individual series and films as its primary way of attracting new subscribers. Sources say that’s all about to change as the streaming leader now looks to market its service as a whole. Rather than creating advertisements that promote individual series and films, Netflix’s new strategy will focus on the streaming service’s entire library. 

Jackie Lee-Joe, who came to Netflix in 2019 from BBC Studios after the retirement of former Netflix chief marketing officer Kelly Bennett. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Lee-Joe has made statements in the past which indicate she feels Netflix’s marketing department had overhired.

Netflix spent $1.8 billion on advertising in 2018 alone but may not be seeing the return on investment the company is looking for. Netflix’s subscriber growth has been slowing in recent months and the rapid expansion of the streaming market has only made competition more fierce among streaming services.

Still, Netflix racked up the biggest first-season debut of any television show ever with 2020’s The Witcher fantasy series. Is a shift in marketing strategy really what Netflix needs, or does it need more top-tier content to attract and retain subscribers?

By Brett Bowen

Brett Bowen is a writer from North Carolina. Brett most often writes about the intersections of science and technology and culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

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