Roku to Lay Off 6% of Its Workforce

Roku announced it plans to lay off 6% of its workforce, which totals out to 200 employees, for restructuring purposes. The TV and movie streaming company joins a number of corporate and tech companies that have laid off a number of employees over the last several months due to the rocky economy. 200 employees of Roku were just laid off in the fall for advertising reasons. Roku states its plan is to lower "the year-over-year operating expense growth and prioritize projects that the Company believes will have a higher return on investment." Disney also recently announced it was laying off 7,000 jobs.

Included in the layoffs, there are additional plans that will result "in the exit and sublease, or cease use, of certain office facilities that the Company does not currently occupy." Approximately $30-35 million is estimated to be incurred in non-recurring charges connected to the restructuring. Those millions are mostly due to payments for severance packages, notice pay, charges for office facilities, and employee benefit contributions. Speaking of those facilities, Roku states it will "exit and sublease, or cease use of, certain office facilities that the Company does not currently occupy."

Warner Bros. Shows to Stream Free on Roku

A slew of television programs canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery are getting a second life on the free streaming services Roku and Tubi. When Warner Bros. Discovery announced it was ending HBO Max shows such as Westworld, it came with the news that the company was looking to license its content out for FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) channels. While we wait for an official announcement regarding Warner Bros. Discovery launching its own FAST offering, at least some of your favorite TV shows can be found at other companies. "As a company with the largest film and TV library in the industry, we have a unique opportunity to increase our addressable market and drive real value, and we plan to move quickly," WBD CEO David Zaslav said in November.

Roku will launch its Warner Bros. Discovery-focused FAST channels in the spring. It's content will consist of programs from across the WBD portfolio, such as WestworldThe BachelorCake BossSay Yes to the Dress, and F-Boy Island. The Roku Channel is also adding around 2,000 hours of on-demand content from HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, and more.

14 WBD FAST channels and more than 225 ad-supported on-demand titles totalling over 2,000 hours are also coming to Tubi starting February 1st. Three of those channels – WB TV Reality, WB TV Series and WB TV Family – include WestworldRaised by WolvesLegendaryF-Boy IslandThe NeversFinding Magic MikeHead of the Class, and The Time Traveler's Wife.