On May 2, news broke that Netflix’s Tudum had laid off several employees. Tudum was a Netflix-owned fan site that was envisioned as a home for bonus content related to popular titles like cast interviews, trailer and renewal news, and behind-the-scenes stories.
The fansite was launched less than six months ago, but its reception has been mixed.
Netflix’s Tudum lays off employees
According to The Verge, a former writer who was fired compared Tudum to special DVD features and the investments other companies made in additional material.
The former staffer said the platform builds on an already existing culture of fandom around Netflix shows and is just something that acts as a companion, according to Vulture.
However, Tudum quickly became the latest example of the streaming service’s failure to nurture fandoms.
The company already has a habit of canceling shows if they don’t meet internal targets with
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In the first season, and he seems to have treated Tudum the same way, cutting much of his staff after he failed to produce a significant payback after six months.
No clear objective
Interviews with current and former employees suggest the streaming platform has changed its mind about what it wants from the multitude of journalists it has recruited.
Staff encountered moving goalposts and a marketing department that did not respond to comments from the writer and editor, according to Gizmodo.
What Netflix wanted from Tudum was unclear to everyone involved. In an interview with The Verge, a former writer said he still wasn’t sure how to pronounce the name of the fansite.
Staff were told that Tudum would be the place to drop off exclusive content before other outlets could, but even that was seen as a problem on the site.
Staff members watched as other outlets land exclusive interviews with the stars of famous Netflix shows and movies, interviews even they couldn’t get. The staff can’t even hang out with the actors they were supposed to have exclusive access to.
Some staff expressed dismay at the situation, with some saying there was no point in them acting as if they had exclusive access when they had less access than other media.
Another tension that grew over time was the type of work writers were allowed to produce and the type of content fans wanted to see.
The writers knew the job wouldn’t exactly be journalism, but they were still assured during the interview process that they would be able to write about Netflix titles with a critical eye.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. Netflix PR reps often attend interviews with stars of the shows, and writers are given lists of topics to avoid discussing that have been deemed controversial.
Even topics that Netflix shows tackle head-on, like mugging, to which shows like “Cheer” devote an entire episode, were off-limits to Tudum writers.
It’s unclear what Netflix wanted to do with the platform or if there are any adjustments they will make to improve the situation.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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