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Roku to cut streaming content, 10% of staff to lower costs

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Roku plans to lay off 10% of its workforce, more than 300 people, in its third round of layoffs in a year. The video streaming company also announced Wednesday it will pull content to cut operating costs.

Roku shares spiked 5% on news of the cuts, which were revealed early Wednesday in an 8-K SEC filing, as the company has struggled to turn a profit.

"The company determined to implement additional measures to continue to bring down its year-over-year operating expense growth rate," the filing reads. Among those measures are limiting new hires, cutting outside expenses and consolidating office space.

While streaming services, including Roku, saw a big uptick in viewership during the COVID-19 pandemic, that viewership has since dropped.

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At the end of last year, Roku had about 3,600 full-time employees in 14 countries. The company reported a net loss of $107.6 million in the second quarter of this year.

The latest round of layoffs at Roku are the third in less than a year. In November, 200 employees were let go. Another 200 workers were cut in March.

Roku's new round of job cuts is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Charges related to the layoffs, such as severance and benefits payments, could cost the company between $45 and $65 million.

In addition to the layoffs, Roku plans to eliminate some licensed content on The Roku Channel. The company, which is based in San Jose, Calif., has not shared which content it plans to remove.

In Wednesday's filing, Roku revised its third quarter projections upward.

Roku "now expects total net revenue in the range of $835 million to $875 million." That is up from its previous forecast of $815 million.