• Top executives from the units recently set up a meeting on layoffs
  • Amazon said it 'may adjust' its team sizing as per macroeconomic conditions
  • Amazon previously eliminated 18,000 jobs and announced another 9,000 cuts last month

Workers at Amazon Studios and Prime Video, entertainment sub-units of the e-commerce giant, who were previously unscathed by mass layoffs, are claiming that they are next in line as the company continues to cut costs.

Employees are expecting more job cuts to hit Amazon Studios and Prime Video after top executives from the two units recently called a meeting to discuss layoffs, people with knowledge of the matter told Insider Tuesday.

Aside from Prime Video and Studios, a number of workers are speculating that upcoming job cuts may also hit MGM, a nearly century-old studio that Amazon acquired in 2022.

At the time of the acquisition, Amazon said MGM would "complement" Prime Video and Studios in delivering the company's goals for its entertainment customers.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it chose Kevin Wilson as the head of theatrical distribution for Studios and MGM, Deadline reported. Wilson's appointment came after the death of former Amazon-MGM distribution chief Erik Lomis.

"Like any business, we continue to monitor macroeconomic conditions and our business needs, and may adjust our hiring strategy and team sizing accordingly," an Amazon spokesperson told Insider via email in response to speculations of possible layoffs at the company's entertainment department.

This came as a writers' strike is likely to take place in Hollywood as early as May, according to Insider. Some industry observers noted that companies like Amazon may use the strike to eliminate deals with unproductive writers in an effort to reduce labor costs.

Over at Amazon Studios, things have been shaky ever since "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" failed to accomplish the company's vision when the show was in the works.

Many current and former Amazon executives said the less-than-stellar "The Rings of Power" run wasn't an accident, as per The Hollywood Reporter. "They describe Amazon Studios as a confusing and frustrating place to do business," the outlet wrote.

While Amazon Studios saw success with several shows like "Fleabag," it could not come out with a "brand-defining show" to counter the likes of Netflix's "Stranger Things" or HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Reports of possible job cuts at Amazon came a week after the e-commerce giant confirmed that it implemented another round of layoffs that affected some employees in its advertising unit.

At the time, the announcement was made through an internal memo from Paul Kotas, Amazon's senior vice president of advertising. Kotas said the cuts would affect "a small percentage of our organization."

Last month, Amazon said it would eliminate another 9,000 roles after announcing layoffs affecting 18,000 people earlier this year, including employees in cloud and advertising divisions, which were "once seen as untouchable until economic concerns led business customers to scrutinize their spending," Reuters reported at the time.

"Some may ask why we didn't announce these role reductions with the ones we announced a couple of months ago. The short answer is that not all of the teams were done with their analyses in the late fall," CEO Andy Jassy said in note to staffers during March layoffs, which affected about 400 employees on Amazon's streaming platform Twitch.

CEO Dan Clancy said the job cuts were necessary "in order to run our business sustainably."

Aside from mass layoffs across different departments, Amazon resorted to other cost-cutting measures such as shutting down some of its stores, including two Amazon Go locations in New York City, two in Seattle and four stores in San Francisco.

In addition, the e-commerce behemoth delayed construction at its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The project was initially deemed to bring nearly 24,000 employees to the said site.

"Our second headquarters has always been a multi-year project, and we remain committed to Arlington, Virginia, and the greater Capital Region," said John Schoettler, Amazon's real estate head, in a statement.

Logos of Amazon and Amazon Prime are pictured on vehicles outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021.
Logos of Amazon and Amazon Prime are pictured on vehicles outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021. Reuters / CARL RECINE