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Samsung’s Content Unit Witnesses Layoffs

May 22, 2015 - Written By Soumabho Dutta

The last couple of weeks hasn’t been good for Samsung’s Media Solutions Centre America, which takes care of the company’s Milk Music and the lesser known Milk Video services. Reports are in that the unit has been witnessing significant layoffs and many key executives have moved out already. The fact that Samsung executives are made to take care of different business units may have backfired and hindered the company’s plans for its Milk Music unit. Although the exact numbers are hard to get by, reports from multiple sources suggest that close to 15% of the staff may have been affected by the layoffs. This is a bit surprising, considering the fact that around 250 people were hired before the cuts went into effect!

On being quizzed about the reports, a Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on rumours and speculations and added that at Samsung, they remain committed to deliver engaging services through the Milk platform and harped on the fact that they are working to expand the Milk music and video library. It is to be noted that the layoffs came merely weeks after Kevin Swint, Vice President of Samsung’s Content and Services, left the unit. He joined Samsung about two years back from Apple, where he took care of Apple’s iTunes Video service. Hence, at Samsung too, he handled the Milk Video service, a video aggregation app launched in 2014.

Few believe that Milk Video was part of the company’s new approach that started with the launch of Milk Music in March 2014, the first of its kind music app with a service-centric approach. The officials realized that Samsung is no match against download stores as Google Play and iTunes and hence decided to come up with new ad-supported services, that would probably not offer much in terms of revenue, but would allow Samsung products to create a niche of their own in a saturated market, something the brand desperately craved for, as sales figures of its flagship device fell well below the expected level.

Hence, with Jay Y. Lee ready to step in as Samsung’s Chairman any day now, all eyes would be set on him to find out whether the layoffs were merely a cost-cutting measure on part of the company or whether it has other plans for Milk Music and Milk Video services.