In a recent development, Amazon has initiated a series of layoffs affecting its studio division and subsidiary, Twitch, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and reduce costs. This move adds to the increasing number of job cuts witnessed in the tech industry over the past year.
Twitch, the popular video streaming platform, is set to reduce its workforce by over 500 roles, constituting approximately 35% of its employees, according to an official blog post. Simultaneously, Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video are also expected to eliminate hundreds of jobs, as communicated in an internal email to staff members on Wednesday.
Since late 2022, Amazon has implemented layoffs affecting a total of 27,000 employees. This downsizing strategy is a response to the company’s overexpansion during the pandemic and aims to optimize resources for long-term business success.
Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, emphasized the importance of prioritizing investments for sustained success while focusing on delivering value to customers. The company plans to redirect its investments towards high-impact products, necessitating cuts in other areas.
The tech industry has witnessed a broader trend of job cuts, reflecting the challenging economic conditions and shifts in consumer behavior post-pandemic. Notably, companies like Xerox have announced a 15% reduction in their workforce, affecting 23,000 employees, while Unity Software, a video game software provider, is set to cut 25% of its workforce, amounting to 1,800 roles.
Amazon, a key player in the streaming space, has invested significantly in its streaming platform, including the acquisition of MGM Studio for $8.5 billion in 2022. Streaming is a vital component of Amazon’s Prime offerings, a subscription service that includes fast shipping and other benefits.
Twitch, acquired by Amazon approximately a decade ago for around a billion dollars, has experienced previous rounds of layoffs, with 400 job cuts announced last year. In a move signaling cost concerns, Twitch also disclosed its decision to shut down services in South Korea by the end of February, citing prohibitively expensive operational costs.
While Amazon downplays the impact of the layoffs by stating they constitute a relatively small percentage of the division’s workforce, specific numbers have not been disclosed. Twitch has refrained from commenting beyond the information provided in its official blog post. The industry will be closely watching for further developments and the implications of these strategic moves on Amazon’s position in the competitive tech landscape.