AT&T continues to shake up its digital media groups as it tries to unify its strategy. Today it announced internally it was going to be laying people off from Otter Media, the group that oversees YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen as well as other streaming assets, according to this report from Variety. The memo from Otter’s CEO Tony Goncalves said they were winding down services within Fullscreen, changing the reporting structure for another digital studio it owns called Rooster Teeth and folding a streaming service that WarnerMedia owned, Machinima, into the group. Although the article makes the layoffs sound widespread, our understanding is that they are happening only within Fullscreen.
AT&T has made similar cutbacks in other digital divisions recently, like shutting down subscription streaming services DramaFever and Filmstruck. The difference here is that those came to AT&T as part of its acquisition of Time Warner whereas Otter Media was already owned by AT&T. As the company moves ahead in building its video streaming service it looks like it’s also trying to pare down the disparate streaming properties it’s inherited and make them profitable. What’s less clear here is when AT&T will make it all look like a cohesive strategy.