Saturday, April 13, 2024

As Netflix Stock Flounders, First Round of Painful Layoffs Hit the Company


Back on April 19th — just 10 days ago, Netflix stock was up to $348. Then their quarterly report was issued. The company admitted to bleeding subscribers.

Today, the stock is down to around $196 after hitting a low this week at $187. Ouch! The stock has gone off a cliff and things are changing fast at the number 1 streamer.

Today the company announced painful layoffs at its Tudum site (tudum, as in the sound the Netflix logo makes, or tu-dum!). Tudum was the website for Netflix users. But it turned out to be expendable. And that won’t be the end of layoffs. More to come.

This happens as CNN Plus shut down yesterday after less than a month in operation. The streaming site had no viewers and lost at least $300 million. Some of the staff will be moved into CNN. But many will just be let go.

When I was part of the original News Digital group responsible for in 1999, we saw the same thing. News Digital was like a balloon that just kept getting bigger and bigger until it burst. We had gorgeous movie-set like offices in the Bed Bath and Beyond building on Sixth Avenue. More and more staff moved in from different divisions. Emotions were high. And then one day, it was all over. The whole thing had gotten way too big. There was no revenue. Luckily, I was one of a few people who were moved uptown to the main company. But I can remember standing in the News Digital offices after everyone was let go, the lights were turned off, and there were just rows and rows of abandoned computers. It’s very sad.

Netflix will rebound, of course. “Ozark” dropped today. The big new season of “Stranger Things” is coming next month and it’s going to be huge. So, fear not. But this will be a painful period.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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