Although Samsung’s business difficulties have almost been forgotten by the media because of the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, behind the headline stories it’s clear that each individual unit is being reviewed. Media Solutions Center America, the Samsung business unit responsible for Milk Music and Milk Video, has undergone a difficult few weeks. Not only has a senior executive, Kevin Swint, departed the business but there have been “dozens of layoffs,” according to the source article. At this time we do not know the exact numbers as estimates vary, with one claiming that 15% of staff have lost their jobs. The unit was believed to have employed around 250 people. At this time, Samsung have declined to directly comment on this story, calling it a rumor, but instead explained that, “What we can tell you is that Samsung remains committed to delivering engaging, connected entertainment experiences through its Milk platform, and we continue to expand our library of music, video and virtual reality.”
Kevin Swint is formerly an Apple employee with responsibility for the iTunes video unit. His latest role at Samsung was head of the Milk Video unit, a video curation and aggregation application service launched at the end of 2014. Milk Video is one of Samsung’s new generation mobile media services (following on from Milk Media in March 2014). Instead of trying to directly compete with iTunes and Google Play for media, where Samsung’s products have simply not stood out for customers, instead Milk Music and Milk Video are designed as free, advert-supported services that whilst not designed to make a direct profit, will instead help Samsung’s mobile products stand out in a competitive market.
Samsung’s current approach may be in jeopardy because the new Chairman, Jay Y. Lee, is believed to be planning to change the focus more onto profitable business units and cut those units that aren’t pulling their own weight. Jay Y. Lee is also believed to be more open to partnerships with third parties rather than trying to offer a product and service to cover all aspects of the world. This refocus within Samsung is good news for those customers who do not want any “value added services” but instead want a lightning fast, clean, functional device.