Sony will lay off about a dozen employees at its ad-supported video streaming service, Sony Crackle, the company confirmed.
The video service, which Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired for $65 million in 2006 (back then, it was known as Grouper), has struggled to find a foothold in the digital media marketplace.
The job cuts are part of a restructuring of Sony Crackle’s business that entails merging its digital ad sales and solutions divisions. Among those displacing in the layoffs are an SVP Digital Sales and a VP of the games division. The layoffs were first reported by Variety, which described them as being part of ongoing cost-cutting at the film studio.
“These moves were made to streamline operations and increase efficiency, making us more competitive in the fast-moving digital landscape,” said a spokesperson for Sony Crackle.
Eric Berger, Crackle’s general manager, touted a rebranding of the service at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in January. He said the new Sony Crackle name would allow the service to “lean into” the power of the Sony brand.
The service boasts an average monthly U.S. audience of 18 million, but it has struggled to find a hit show with the buzz of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which decamped to Netflix in January 2017 after launching on Crackle five years earlier.
This year’s original program slate includes The Oath, an L.A. crime drama executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and starring True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten, and Snatch, an adaptation of Guy Ritchie’s 2000 gangster film staring Rupert Grint.