Streaming Ascendant; Hollywood Faces Layoffs

Hollywood has seen mass layoffs at all levels of its hierarchy, Variety reports.

Warner Bros., for example, has seen two rounds of layoffs coupled with a “wholesale restructuring” that booted workers who had been with the company for decades. AMC announced recently that it will be laying off 10 percent of its U.S. workforce, meaning around 100 employees, according to Variety. The shutdown of short-lived streaming platform Quibi resulted in thousands of people losing their jobs.

NBCUniversal, Discovery Inc., Sony Pictures and Lionsgate have also laid off mass numbers of employees, the report says.

To some, the cuts reflect the rapidly changing models of business toward streaming video services that almost every major company is taking up, with Warner Bros. focusing all its energy on new content for HBOMax, NBCUniversal and Disney with new groups focused on content creation and distribution, and ViacomCBS focused on its CBS All Access and Paramount Plus services.

Those shifts have come with the pandemic, which has closed down most movie theaters as people stay away. PYMNTS reports that numerous entities begun simply bypassing the usual route of movie theaters and sending new content to streaming services. That includes Disney, which sent its anticipated “Mulan” remake to streaming, alongside Comcast’s latest “Trolls” film and other movies, sports and more.

Meanwhile, physical theaters like Regal have had to suspend operations, with executives comparing the situation to a grocery store with no products to sell right now.

The difficulty of the shifting needs for employees has resulted in some high-level execs leaving their jobs and others being ousted.

Jay Tucker, executive director of UCLA’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports, said the mergers and acquisitions in the business in recent years had shaken things up.

“We’re shifting to the era of personalization, where the consumer is at the center of the business model,” he said, according to Variety. “This disruption is hitting every level of employee, and it is compounded by the perception that once you hit a certain number of years of experience, it’s harder to find the next opportunity.”



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