It’s no secret that GoPro, the company known for producing portable, high-quality cameras, had a not-so-strong 2016. Among other issues, it has been beset by dismal earnings, nosediving stock prices, and delayed projects. Now, the latest piece of bad news has arrived from GoPro HQ: The company has laid off 200 workers (approximately 15% of its workforce) and has shuttered its entertainment division.
After establishing itself as one of the online video industry’s most prominent brands thanks to the exhilarating extreme sports clips it posted to its YouTube channel, GoPro signaled the launch of an entertainment division when it hired Zander Lurie, a Guggenheim Digital Media veteran, as its SVP of Media. With Lurie at the helm, GoPro planned to support its user-generated videos with larger projects, but the company’s rapid decline put the kibosh on that plan. Lurie left GoPro earlier in 2016, and the employees who worked under him in the company’s entertainment division will now follow.
With the entertainment division shuttered, GoPro will focus on its core sales business in hopes of reversing the downward trend that has plagued it over the past year. “Consumer demand for GoPro is solid and we’ve sharply narrowed our focus to concentrate on our core business,” said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman in a statement reported by Variety. “We are headed into 2017 with a powerful global brand, our best ever products, and a clear road map for restored growth and profitability in 2017.”
The GoPro YouTube channel is still active, so it looks like the company will keep sharing the amazing footage its customers send in, even if it does not go forward with any grander content plans. For the 4.3 million users who subscribe to that hub, that’s a piece of good news.