Axios Pro: Media Deals

January 20, 2023

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Good morning, Media Deals readers!

🚨 Breaking: More layoffs in tech and media. Vox Media is laying off 7% of its staff, CEO Jim Bankoff said in a memo today, citing the "challenging economic environment." Earlier this morning, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company was planning to lay off 12,000 people.

1 big thing: Netflix's next chapter

Data: Netflix earnings reports; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

A major leadership shakeup at Netflix following the most tumultuous year in the company's history signals a new era for the entertainment giant, Sara Fischer writes.

Why it matters: After a decade of consistent growth under co-founder Reed Hasting's leadership as chief executive, the company now must pivot its strategy to take on a more competitive and turbulent streaming landscape.

Driving the news: Netflix yesterday surprised Wall Street when it announced that Hastings was stepping down as co-CEO of the streaming giant and becoming executive chairman.

  • As part of the leadership change, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos will be joined by a new co-CEO β€” current COO Greg Peters.
  • "There's no big strategy shift or big culture shifts," Peters said on yesterday's earnings call. "We don't have a bank of changes that we have been holding for this moment. So, mostly, it's continuity and moving forward."

πŸ’­ Tim's thought bubble: Peters may have brushed off any wholesale shift in strategy, but the two new business models he's championed β€” ad-supported streaming and gaming β€” have also been the places where the deal-hesitant company has done the most M&A.

  • In fact, one notable mention during the call yesterday came from Sarandos, who hinted they may eventually introduce a free subscription: "We’re keeping an eye on that segment, for sure."

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