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Netflix is ​​laying off 300 employees after falling subscribers

The Netflix app appears on the home page of a Roku Streaming Stick alongside other streaming media services. (Photo: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons)

Netflix went ahead with a fresh round of layoffs Thursday as the company tries to recover from a sudden drop in paying subscribers.

Around 300 jobs have been cut, many in the US, according to a Netflix spokesman. The pink slips affected “many different teams” at the company, the spokesman said.

“While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we’ve made these adjustments to allow our costs to grow in line with our slower revenue growth,” Bao Nguyne, Netflix’s communications director, told technology magazine The Verge on Thursday.

The layoffs come after Netflix cut about 150 employee positions and laid off dozens of contractors last month. The streaming company is trying to recover from a lackluster earnings report released in May that revealed Netflix lost 200,000 more paying subscribers than it gained between December last year and March this year.

Netflix blamed the problem on around 100 million streamers loading a paying user’s account for free. After years of company executives claiming that a trend of sharing passwords among family and friends is good for the company’s business, Netflix says it will take action against the practice.

However, some analysts say Netflix’s decision to spend billions of dollars on content while increasing fees for its 222 million paying subscribers has hurt the company’s ability to retain customers and attract new ones to the streaming service.

The service charges $15.50 per month to access high-definition streams of the movies and TV series in its content library. Access to Ultra High Definition (UHD/4K) video is paid, with Netflix charging $20 per month. Others, like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney Plus, include UHD streaming in their basic subscriptions, which are cheaper than Netflix’s UHD tier of service.

On Thursday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he regretted “not having seen our slowing revenue growth earlier, so we could have ensured a more gradual adjustment to the business.”

“We know these two rounds of layoffs have been very tough for everyone and created a lot of fear and uncertainty,” Hastings wrote in an email to employees. “We plan to return to a more normal course of business in the future.”

It wasn’t clear if Netflix was planning any more layoffs in the future.

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