Plex laid off 37 people on Monday, a figure that represents more than 20 percent of the company’s staff, according to a Slack message from CEO Keith Valory obtained by The Verge. The layoffs affect “every department,” Valory wrote.
Plex offers a popular media server app that lets people upload and stream their own content, but in recent years, it’s bet big on adding free, ad-supported (FAST) movies and shows and live TV. But like many others in streaming, it seems Plex has found it can be tough to make money in the business right now.
Plex’s ad business has been “significantly impacted” by the downturn in global advertising markets, Valory said, and “unfortunately, we cannot know how long ad markets and pricing will continue to be depressed and volatile.” Plex has decided to try and get its budget back to being cash-flow positive in the next 18 months, but “the only way to reach profitability under these constraints is to significantly reduce our personnel expenses,” Valory said.
The company will be restructuring under four main product areas and “a few shared services.” It’s also some additional internal changes, including reprioritizing product road maps and reducing marketing spend.
Plex didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. We’ve found some posts on Linkedin discussing the recent layoffs, including a former UX strategist and a former backend software engineer for the company. The company also did a round of layoffs earlier this year, according to a LinkedIn post from a former account executive.