Business

Hundreds of workers lose jobs at Amazon Prime Video, MGM Studios and Twitch

Online shopping giant Amazon is eliminating hundreds of positions across its video production and distribution divisions, as the company announced layoffs at Amazon Prime Video, its MGM Studios division and livestreaming subsidiary Twitch.

The latest cuts come as the company has eliminated more than 27,000 jobs over the past year, part of multiple rounds of technology industry layoffs in the United States following hiring booms during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Amazon had about 1.54 million employees as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to public filings.)

According to an internal staff note provided to CBC News, Prime Video and MGM Studios staff in the Americas will find out if they’ve lost their jobs on Wednesday, while workers in most other regions will be informed by the end of the week. 

Amazon did not immediately respond to questions about how many Canadian jobs could be affected by these cuts.

“We’ve identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while increasing our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact,” Mike Hopkins, senior vice-president of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, told employees in an internal note.

Amazon is also set to increase prices for viewers who wish to remain commercial-free on Amazon Prime in markets including Canada. Canadian viewers can opt out of ads by paying an extra $2.99 a month, starting in February. The change is similar to moves by rivals Netflix and Walt Disney.

Streaming service Twitch also being cut

It’s not the only batch of layoffs for Amazon, which reportedly cut some jobs at its Alexa voice assistant division in November.

The company’s Twitch service is also set to lay off 500 employees, or about 35 per cent of its workforce, according to a blog post from Twitch CEO Dan Clancy.
 
The company has spent aggressively on its media business recently, including the $8.5 billion US deal for MGM and around $465 million US on the first season of The Lord of  the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video in 2022.

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