Yahoo Finance entertainment reporter Allie Canal joins the Live show to break down Netflix's announced layoffs, similar hiring practices seen in the streaming and tech spaces, the latest Stranger Things season.
- Shares of Netflix down more than 70% this year, still struggling to recover from its first subscriber loss in a decade. Now news of another potential round of layoffs. Allie now here with that story. Allie, what are we learning?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: So this is a new report from Variety. Now, we first heard that Netflix was going to layoff 150 employees back in May across a number of divisions. Now Variety says that this could happen again with the same number roughly of people getting let go later this week. I did reach out to Netflix for comment. They declined to comment on this. But it comes at a time when we're seeing a lot of these tech companies laying off people, rescinding offers, citing this tough economic environment.
And then if you look at Netflix, they've been spending a ton of money on content. More than $18 billion annually. In addition to that, they have a ton of employees. So a lot of investors really want to see them cut costs where they can and really try to reach a good level of profitability, reach that free cash flow, which they really haven't been able to do at this point. So we'll have to see if these cuts come to fruition this week.
- Well, Allie, speaking of spending big on content, one show that they spent a lot on is "Stranger Things." And there certainly is a lot of hype because there's a new trailer out for season four volume two. I know you're personally very excited about this. But what can we expect because a lot of Netflix's success rides on this.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Totally. And with subscribers slowing, they really need to make sure that their content is top notch here. We did get that trailer this morning. Here's a little sneak peek.
- It is over. Now we just want you to watch.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: OK. So a lot going on there. You mentioned how expensive it was. $33 million per episode. There's only two episodes in this volume two. But guess what. That's almost four hours of television. So people should be really happy about this. I know you two aren't the biggest "Stranger Things" fan.
- Well, I've never seen it.
- I've never seen it either. But just judging from that trailer, I'm fine with not seeing it.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: No, I'm telling you, guys, the first season's amazing. And I'm not alone. I have some stats to throw out for you, OK. The first seven episodes of season four broke the record for Netflix's biggest ever premiere weekend. So there's that. And season four has the highest viewership among all English language Netflix series, with over 883 million hours viewed so far.
- So this volume is out now?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah. So the first seven episodes of season four is out right now.
- And then the second volume is just two episodes. Two two-hour episodes.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Two two-hour episodes July 1. And then there's one more season after this. Season five. And then we're done.
- So we scare easily.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah. I know. This season is a lot darker. So it's a little scary. But season one--
- It looks very dark from the trailer.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Season one, I think you guys can handle. It's light. It's fun.
- All right. I don't know. We'll see. All right.