Netflix lays off 300 more employees, confirms ad-supported tier

Netflix’s layoff spree continues, with the company letting go of about 300 – mostly U.S. based – employees, Variety reported Thursday.

“Today we sadly let go of around 300 employees,” a Netflix spokesperson told the outlet. “While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth. We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition.”

The cuts, Variety said, were made across multiple business functions in the company.

The news comes not long after Netflix laid off 150 staffers in May. The company told Deadline at the time the decision was mainly driven by business needs, rather than individual performance – as the streaming giant looks to recuperate from its first quarter losses.

One way the streamer has considered expanding its business is through an ad-supported tier. Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed Thursday the service will introduce ads, Hollywood Reporter wrote.

“We’ve left a big customer segment off the table, which is people who say: ‘Hey, Netflix is too expensive for me and I don’t mind advertising,'” Sarandos said at the Cannes Lions festival. “We’re adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say, ‘Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads.'”

To enhance its ad strategy, Netflix wants to partner with a company that has experience on that front. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported Netflix was in talks with NBCUniversal, Google as well as Roku for a possible ad revenue deal.

Following up after his announcement, Sarandos said “we want a pretty easy entrance to the market – which, again, we will build on and iterate in,” according to a recent WSJ article.

Concerning Roku, an internal company rumor suggested this month Netflix might acquire the company. Roku responded in turn by suspending employee trading of its stock.

Sarandos at Cannes rebuffed the idea of such an acquisition, saying “we don’t need it,” according to the WSJ.

Netflix currently faces expectations for second quarter subscriber losses as well – and has a shareholder lawsuit on its hands – and Sarandos said a buyout “is always a reality.” However, he thinks Netflix can also grow on its own.

“We have plenty of scale and profitability and free cash flow to continue to grow this business,” Sarandos said.