Netflix Inc. announced on Sunday that it had decided to drop the production of Pearl, an animated series created by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
This move marked the latest cost-saving efforts after the streaming giant reported a disappointing fiscal first quarter.
Accordingly, the cancellation is also part of strategic decisions by the company around animated series. Likewise, Netflix decided to drop the two animated children’s shows Dino Daycare and Boons and Curses.
Archewell Productions, formed by Meghan and Prince Harry, co-produces Pearl. The series narrates the adventures of a 12-year-old girl inspired by influential women from history.
The streamer said it would continue its work with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on a number of projects. The royal production company initially signed a multi-year deal with Netflix in 2020 to make a variety of shows.
Consequently, they would continue working on the previously announced documentary series Heart of Invictus. The story focuses on athletes competing in the Invictus Games for injured veterans in The Hague in 2022.
The latest decision comes after the subscription service reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. It skidded from the market consensus of adding 2.50 million, marking its first paid user decline in more than a decade.
Moreover, the tech company has faced tightened pressure as more rivals enter the space and compete for users’ time. As a result, the business has spent billions on its content, inflating its expenses.
In line with this, Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann said the company decided to cut back some of its content expenditure. This move involves slashing funding for films and TV shows to help revenue growth.
Netflix’s cutbacks hit Tudum, its editorial arm
Furthermore, Netflix also laid off a body of its editorial staff just five months after launching its in-house publication Tudum.
The streaming company declined to share further details. Instead, it emphasized that it has no plans to shut down Tudum. Nevertheless, the layoffs reportedly affected 25 people across Netflix’s marketing department.
Previously, the company has tried to squeeze more money out of customers by raising prices. It also tested features that would charge extra for account sharing.
However, Netflix decided to scale back its new content marketing business on the heels of last week’s downbeat earnings.
In addition, the business warned of a crackdown on password sharing last week. This potential measure could include charging users a fee for sharing their accounts outside of their household.