The dominance of Netflix's (NASDAQ: NFLX) online streaming service came to light once again this week as the provider announced that it will be closing one of its call centers devoted to helping DVD customers, and either relocating or laying off 188 employees.
The facility, located in Hillsboro, Ore., will close in June 2015.
It's the latest Netflix call center to close in the past few years as the number of Netflix DVD subscribers continues to fall. Three years ago the unit had around 14 million subs; this year only 6 million customers use the mail-in DVD service. Netflix will continue to manage customer support out of its DVD business offices in Fremont, Calif., according to GigaOm.
Cliff Edwards, corporate communications and technology director for Netflix, said that employees at the Hillsboro facility have been given the option to relocate to other locations.
"We have about 182 to 188 full time employees there and we've offered them the opportunity to relocate to Fremont, or relocate to a new streaming operation we have in Salt Lake City," he told KOIN 6 News.
The meteoric growth of online video is, as this facility's closing shows, causing as much angst as it does optimism. Besides the decline in Netflix's DVD-by-mail business, fault lines are opening in several areas of the media and entertainment industry as business models are being rebuilt or discarded.
Recent bloodletting at Turner saw 300 CNN staffers take pink slips, as advertising revenues on the linear TV channel plummeted. And Synacor, which should be profiting as broadcasters and cable channels increasingly turn to OTT and TV Everywhere technologies, is instead treading water, laying off 70 employees and struggling with activist investors amid a tough CEO search.
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