Disney to lay off 7,000 as streaming subscribers decline

Disney to lay off 7,000 as streaming subscribers decline

Disney to lay off 7,000 as streaming subscribers decline

Entertainment giant Disney said on Feb. 8 it was laying off 7,000 employees, as CEO Bob Iger announced a reorganization of the company he returned to lead last year.

The job cuts follow similar moves by U.S. tech giants dialing back from a hiring spurt that began during the height of the pandemic.“I do not make this decision lightly,” Iger said on a call to analysts after Disney posted its latest quarterly earnings.

In its 2021 annual report, the group said it employed 190,000 people worldwide, 80 percent of whom were full-time.“We are going to take a really hard look at the costs for everything that we make, both across television and film,” Iger said.

“Because things in a very competitive world have just simply gotten more expensive.”

The storied company founded by Walt Disney said its streaming service saw its first ever fall in subscribers last quarter as consumers cut back on spending.

Subscribers to Disney+, the streaming archrival to Netflix, fell 1 percent to 161.8 million customers on Dec. 31, compared to three months earlier.

Analysts had broadly expected the decline, and the Disney share price climbed more than 5 percent in post-session trading.

Disney is also going to look at the volume of content it makes and the pricing of its streaming services, Iger told analysts.

“We were in a global arms race for subscribers,” Iger said of Disney+ early days as a challenger to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

“I think we might have gotten a bit too aggressive in terms of our promotion; and we are going to take a look at that.”     

Across its vast entertainment empire that includes theme parks, film studios and cruise ships, the Disney Group saw revenues of $23.5 billion for the three-month period, better than analysts predicted.

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