Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is reportedly reviewing spending by the tech giant’s Hollywood studio on its expensive original TV programming amid a broader cost-cutting push.
This January, Amazon announced its largest-ever layoffs, with about 18,000 people to be laid off under the initial round of workforce reduction. A second round of 9,000 job cuts was announced in March, bringing the running total to 27,000 layoffs.
Recently, Jassy’s attention has turned to Amazon’s spending on its original TV productions, asking the company’s executives to analyze the budgets of some of Amazon’s shows as production costs rise and some of the programs fail to attract or retain large audiences, according to a report by Bloomberg.
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The outlet noted that Amazon has released at least six TV series with production budgets in excess of $100 million over the past nine months, four of which were unable to make it into the top 10 of Nielsen’s list of most watched streaming programs.
Two of the Amazon series with the largest production budgets — “The Rings of Power” and “Citadel” — have enjoyed more success in attracting viewers, but that viewership came at a high cost of over $400 million and $250 million, respectively, per Bloomberg.
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There are also indications that viewership has been fleeting. “The Rings of Power,” which is Amazon Studios’ most expensive production to date, only had a 37% completion rate according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Since Amazon launched its Amazon Studios division in 2010, the world’s largest online retailer has used its financial clout to back the production company’s projects with big-budget productions running mainly on its streaming platform, Prime Video.
Amazon aimed to build on that push by acquiring MGM Studios for $8.45 billion last year.
The layoffs that have occurred at Amazon this year have had an impact on the company’s entertainment divisions, as Insider reported that around 100 people at Amazon Studios and Prime Video were impacted by the layoffs, including some duplicative roles absorbed in the acquisition of MGM.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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