Plex lays off 20% of its workforce amid advertising slowdown

Plex, the free streaming app, laid off approximately 20% of its staff, TechCrunch has learned, which will largely affect the Personal Media teams and likely other departments.

Plex didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The streaming app gives users a single destination to upload and organize content (video, audio and photos) from their own server while also allowing them to stream it via mobile app, smart TV or desktop.

In recent years, however, Plex has invested in free, ad-supported streaming (FAST) and live TV offerings. The FAST market has become saturated as many companies have entered the space. Plus, the overall advertising industry has taken a hit, making it harder for companies to earn enough revenue.

According to a Slack message from Plex CEO Keith Valory, obtained by The Verge, which first reported the layoffs, the company has been “significantly impacted” by the slowdown. “Unfortunately, we cannot know how long ad markets and pricing will continue to be depressed and volatile,” Valory wrote.

Similar to moves made by other media and software companies, Plex is choosing to “reduce our personnel expenses” to “reach profitability under these constraints,” Valory said. He added that 37 employees would be impacted.

Additionally, it seems that Plex may have had another round of layoffs earlier this year. Five months ago, a former account executive posted on LinkedIn that they were “affected by company layoffs.”

As of January, the company had 175 employees, and its revenue was in the double-digit millions.

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