Roku has taken down 37 original shows from the Roku Channel due to limited viewership, aiming to cut costs.
Roku has removed 37 original programs from its Roku Channel to reduce expenses. This is in line with their layoff announcement and recent cuts on content as well.
Noteworthy shows among those taken down include the rebooted “Reno 911!”, “Dummy” which features Anna Kendrick, “Survive” with Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins, and “Most Dangerous Game” starring Christopher Waltz. Other series like “Singled Out” hosted by Keke Palmer, “The Andy Cohen Diaries”, a new version of “The Fugitive” with Kiefer Sutherland, “Elba vs. Block” starring Idris Elba, and “Wireless” with Tye Sheridan has also been taken off.
The list further includes “Dishmantled”, “The Newsreader”, “Panhandle”, “Slip”, “Moving the Needle With Dr. Woo”, “Surprise We’re Pregnant”, “Eye Candy”, “Murder House Flip”, “Let’s Roll With Tony Greenhand”, “Barkitecture”, “Big Rad Wolf”, “Murder Unboxed”, “Gayme Show”, “Iron Sharpens Iron”, “Squeaky Clean”, “Fierce Queens”, “Benedict Men”, “Memory Hole”, “Nice One!”, “Run This City”, “The Sauce”, “Ten Weeks”, “Poly”, “Mind/Trip”, “Gone Mental With Lior”, “Tempting Fortune”, “Cup of Joe” with Joe Jonas, and “The Stranger” by Veena Sud.
Interestingly, most of these shows were initially developed for the short-lived streaming service Quibi. Roku had purchased Quibi’s content assets in 2021. Additionally, two seasons of “Children Ruin Everything”, a Canadian comedy series, will no longer be accessible on the Roku Channel in the U.S.
This step is one among many taken by Roku to curtail its expenses. The company has also reduced its workforce by 10%. Due to the removal of select content, Roku expects to incur a financial impact ranging from $55 million to $65 million.
An insider has indicated that the rationale behind removing these shows is their inability to draw new viewership. This information was first shared with the public by Deadline.
Roku’s Strategy to Reduce Expenses
Roku has been actively implementing measures to offset its losses in its pursuit of cost-cutting strategies. The company’s financial trajectory, as revealed in its recent SEC filing, highlights the gravity of these measures.
In a notable move, Roku announced a reduction of its global workforce by 10%, which equates to over 300 employees. This is not the first instance of such action; Roku had made staff cuts, letting go of 400 employees across March and November of 2022.
Roku is exploring options to consolidate and reduce office spaces while trimming expenses on external services. Additionally, the company is adopting a more conservative stance on recruitment, indicating a potential decrease in future hires.
By the end of 2022, Roku’s global presence was evident, with approximately 3,600 full-time employees distributed across 14 countries. These layoffs reflect Roku’s strategy to stabilise its financial position, especially in light of a substantial 71% surge in operating expenses in the last quarter of 2022. The subsequent year, 2023, witnessed further escalations with a 42% spike in Q1 and an 8% rise in Q2, cumulatively amounting to $504 million.
On a brighter note, Roku’s financial report for Q2, disclosed on July 27th, showcased promising growth in user engagement and platform revenue. The period saw an addition of 1.9 million net active accounts, marking an uptick from the 1.6 million in the preceding quarter. The overall net income stood at $847 million, reflecting an 11% growth year-over-year.
A significant portion of this revenue, $743.8 million to be precise, was credited to Roku’s platform segment, encompassing The Roku Channel and advertising ventures. Nonetheless, Roku’s financial challenges persisted with a reported net loss of $126 million for the quarter, albeit an improvement from the $212 million loss in Q1 2023 and a slight increase from the $110 million loss the year prior.
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