Roku to cut 300 staff & pull programming as rising costs continue to bite

Match Me In Miami

Streaming operator and smart TV manufacturer Roku is making further staff cuts, with plans to lay off around 10% of its workforce and pull content, in its latest round of cost-cutting measures.

In an SEC filing this week, Roku said that around 300 members of staff would be let go and that it is looking to consolidate its office space, while it launches a “strategic review of its content portfolio” and reduces “outside service expenses” in the face of the challenging economic climate and downturn in the advertising market.

This is the third round of layoffs at Roku, which is a major player in FAST, in the past year, following 200 job cuts earlier this year and a further 200 in November 2022.

The company will face a restructuring charge of between $45m to $65m following the redundancies, linked to severance and benefits costs, which it expects to be concluded by Q4.

Roku’s ‘Content removal’

The company’s strategic review will include the removal of “select existing licensed and produced content from company-operated services on its TV streaming platform” and will lead to a further impairment charge of $55m to $65m. Another charge of $160m to $200m will be incurred as a result of the office consolidation.

Roku had enjoyed rapid growth over recent years – adding 10 million users in 2022 – and expanding its FAST channel operation, while its share price has risen more than 30% over the past 12 months to almost $80, although a far cry from a high of $335 per share in September 2021.

The company has also moved into original programming for its dedicated Roku Channel, with series including social experiment series The Marriage Pact and eight-part matchmaking series Match Me In Miami, as well as unscripted feature, To Paris For Love: A Reality ‘Rom Com’, from Reece Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Zoe Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures.

Last year, Roku signed a major content deal with Lionsgate to fuel The Roku Channel. The multi-year theatrical output deal sees Lionsgate films make their way to The Roku Channel following their first window on Starz. The agreement includes titles such as John Wick 4, Borderlands, Expendables 4 and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.


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