Roku to Remove $55-65 Million Worth of Content, Lay Off 10% of Staff – Lifotravel

Digital media player maker and streaming provider Roku will lay off 10% of its workforce and remove $55-65 million worth of content in a restructuring move. Roku debuted its first digital media player in 2008.

According to a regulatory filing reported on by The Hollywood Reporter, Roku is “continuing an evaluation of its operations.” This led to the determination “to implement additional measures to continue to bring down its year-over-year operating expense growth rate by consolidating its office space utilization, performing a strategic review of its content portfolio, reducing outside services expenses, and slowing its year-over-year headcount expense growth rate through a workforce reduction and limiting new hires, among other measures.”

The Roku Channel Will Permanently Lose Licensed and Original Content

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Image Credit: The Roku Channel.

The Roku Channel launched in 2017 and, in 2021, began releasing original programming such as the psychological drama Swimming with Sharks (pictured above) starring Diane Kruger. Now, according to the filing, “the company expects to record an impairment charge in a preliminary estimated range of $160 million to $200 million related to ceasing to use certain office facilities and an impairment charge in a preliminary estimated range of $55 million to $65 million related to removing select existing licensed and produced content from company-operated services on its TV streaming platform.”

The filing did not indicate which movies or shows are on the chopping block. Other Roku Channel original series at risk of being cut include Doomlands, The Fix, Poly, Mamas, Mind/Trip, Roku Change Makers, The Cupcake Guys, Team Rubicon, Morimoto’s Sushi Masters, The Next Black Millionaires, Honest Renovations, Martha Cooks, and many more.

The Hollywood Reporter says, “Excluding the restructuring and impairment charges, Roku said it now expects its third-quarter revenue to hit $835 million to $875 million, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization coming in at a loss of $20 million to $40 million.”

IndieWire reports that Roku laid off 200 employees last November, the same month it pushed the biographical parody Weird: The Al Yankovic Story starring Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood on the Roku Channel. Despite the positive reception to Weird: The Al Yankovic Story and its two Emmy nominations, Roku’s bread and butter still comes from its digital media players, which give users access to streaming providers such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, Hulu, and, of course, the Roku Channel on a single device. In addition to set-top boxes, Roku now makes Roku Select and Roku Plus Series TVs that range in price from $119 to $999.

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