Amazon Announces Layoffs in Prime Video and Studios Division
In a move that reflects the ongoing trend of job cuts in the tech industry, Amazon.com has announced that it will be laying off several hundred employees in its streaming and studio operations.
The news came in an internal note circulated on Wednesday, with affected staff in the Americas being informed immediately and those in other regions to be notified by the end of the week.
This decision follows Amazon's massive job cuts last year, which saw over 27,000 positions being eliminated as part of a broader industry-wide downsizing in the wake of the pandemic. Mike Hopkins, the senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, explained the rationale behind the layoffs, stating, "We've identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while increasing our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact."
Amazon has been aggressively expanding its media business in recent years, with notable acquisitions such as the US$8.5 billion deal for MGM and a hefty investment of around US$465 million in the first season of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" on Prime Video, set to premiere in 2022. The company is also planning to introduce advertisements on Prime Video and offer a more expensive ad-free subscription tier, following in the footsteps of competitors like Netflix and Walt Disney.
While the tech industry experienced widespread job cuts in 2022 and 2023, companies are now shifting their focus towards streamlining specific projects and divisions to optimise resource allocation. Amazon's recent layoffs in its Alexa voice assistant division and Microsoft's reduction of staff in its LinkedIn professional network are further examples of this trend.
In addition to the layoffs in its streaming and studio operations, Amazon's gaming platform, Twitch, is reportedly planning to lay off 500 employees, which would account for approximately 35% of its workforce.
Despite the news of the layoffs, Amazon's shares have remained resilient, with a 1.5% increase in afternoon trading. The company's stock experienced significant growth last year, surging over 80%.
Amazon to lay off several hundred employees in its Prime Video and Studios division
The company aims to focus on content and product initiatives with the greatest impact
This move follows a wave of job cuts in the tech industry over the past two years