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Netflix to Lay Off Roughly 15 in Marketing Department Shift

Netflix is poised to let go of roughly 15 marketing staffers from its Los Angeles office in the wake of last year’s shift in marketing leadership, Variety has learned.

The layoffs represent a small percentage of the greater marketing division, according to a source, and follows the hiring last July of Jackie Lee-Joe as chief marketing officer, who hails from BBC Studio and served as its chief marketing officer for nearly four years.

The move whittles down what Lee-Joe believes to have been a perhaps slightly bloated marketing department, a person familiar with the situation told Variety. The company will continue to promote individual shows as part of its greater marketing initiatives to promote the whole service.

Though Netflix remains dominant in the streaming arena, the company has faced, in recent months, a surge of competitors from the likes of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus, and in the forthcoming months will see rivals bloom in the form of HBO Max and Quibi.

While Disney Plus posted impressive first-day subscriber figures of over 10 million sign-ups after launching in November, Netflix continues to grow its global subscriber count, ending 2019 with 167.1 million streaming customers worldwide, according to its most recent earnings report from last week. About 61 million of those are in the U.S. But that growth Stateside failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations in the fourth quarter, though its overall subscriber additions beat forecasts.

“Our low membership growth in [the U.S. and Canada] is probably due to our recent price changes and to U.S. competitive launches,” said Netflix in its quarterly shareholder letter on Jan. 21.

Noting its “big headstart” in the streaming space, the company noted in its letter that it would continue to focus on making its members happy amid the heated competitive market.

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