Audible Faces Layoffs as Amazon Continues to Cut Back on Workforce
According to a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider, Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, will be letting go of 5% of its staff. CEO Bob Carrigan acknowledged the hard work of his staff in a strong 2023, but due to the “increasingly challenging landscape,” the company is forced to make cuts. Unfortunately, this situation is all too familiar in the tech industry, where layoffs have become commonplace since 2022.
Audible did not respond to requests for comment on the layoffs.
“Dear staff, thank you for making so much money last year. Now, we’re firing a lot of you because our parent company thinks it will make it look better. Love, your boss.”
Twitter user Alex (@alex) shared a screenshot of the memo, highlighting the harsh reality of the situation.
Amazon has been aggressively downsizing its workforce over the past year, with a reported 27,000 employees being let go in 2023 across various departments, such as AWS, Twitch, and advertising. This week alone, Twitch announced 500 layoffs, while Amazon’s entertainment branches, MGM Studios and Prime Video, also made significant cuts to their staff. It’s a difficult time for these entertainment products within Amazon.
It’s worth noting that, with the exception of Prime Video, all of these organizations were acquired by Amazon. Twitch, the popular gaming livestream platform, was purchased for approximately $1 billion in 2014, while Audible has been a part of Amazon since 2008, when it was acquired for $300 million. The most recent acquisition, MGM Studios, cost Amazon $8.5 billion in 2022, and brought with it over 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows for Prime Video’s streaming library.
Although Twitch boasts a massive user base, the costs of running such a large live-streaming service have kept it from turning a profit. As for MGM and Prime Video, senior vice president Mike Hopkins stated that the company will be cutting back on certain investments while focusing on content and product initiatives that will have the most impact.