Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses

GoPro Slashes 15% of Workforce, Shuts Down Entertainment Division (variety.com) 94

GoPro has announced that it will lay off more than 200 employees and freeze hiring, amounting to a reduction of about 15% of its workforce. As part of the restructuring, the company is also shutting down its entertainment division. In addition, the company said president Tony Bates will be leaving the company. From a report on Variety: Also Wednesday, GoPro also said Black Friday camera unit sales were up more than 35% year-over-year at leading U.S. retailers. GoPro said its Hero5 Black camera has been the best-selling digital-imaging device in the U.S. since it launched Oct. 2, citing NPD Group data. GoPro shares climbed more than 4% in premarket trading Wednesday on the news. The move appears to spell the end of the struggling company's ambitions to branch out beyond device sales into the entertainment biz, which had included plans to produce original shows. The GoPro entertainment unit has been led by Ocean MacAdams, who previously held programming posts at MTV, Warner Music Group, and the Madison Square Garden Co., after Zander Lurie left in January to become CEO of SurveyMonkey. The division at one point had about 200 staffers, including Bill McCullough, who produced award-winning sports documentaries for HBO, and Joe Lynch, who previously led Time Inc.'s live-streaming initiatives.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GoPro Slashes 15% of Workforce, Shuts Down Entertainment Division

Comments Filter:
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:19AM (#53392311)

    Sell GoPros to the low-blood-in-the-brain pot smokers from the previous article, who will make crazier videos and in turn promote the GoPro brand? /be a hero

    • 15% ProGo
  • And rightly so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:35AM (#53392429) Journal

    GoPro equipment is madly expensive. You can buy a knockoff such as an SJCAM with similar capabilities for a small fraction of the price. If you buy GoPro, you're paying out the ass for the name.

    I got one as a gift, back when "action cameras" were a new thing and I was still rigging up conventional digital cameras, and it failed for no apparent reason a couple years ago (my best guess is maybe heat from the sun killed it, although it didn't have any telltale LCD rainbowing). I already had a lot of gen1 GoPro accessories so I bought one used to replace it, but next time I have to replace or upgrade I'm going to go with a knockoff.

    • What knockoff is equivalent to the Hero5 Black? There are so many knockoffs it is hard to tell which are good and which are not.
      • The knockoffs always lag behind in features, if you want those bleeding-edge features you'll have to shell out the big bucks. Modern action cams are all ridiculously overpowered for non-professional use anyway IMO. I still record my videos in 720p.

        The SJCAM 5000X Elite is the closest to the Hero5 Black - SJCAM's cameras seem to be pretty reliable, some friends have had good luck with them, and that's what I'll probably go to next (they use the same mounts as a GoPro so I won't have to change those). If it b

    • Problem is the knockoffs don't seem to match GoPro in my experiences.

      SJCAM's newest SJ6 Legend can only do 60Hz at 1080p, 30fps at 2560x1440 and for the 4K mode it says 24Hz but then also says (Interpolated) which probably means it's something more like 15Hz and being motion interpolated to a higher output rate like a TV can interpolate a 24 or 30Hz signal to 120Hz.

      A GoPro can do 240Hz 720p, 120Hz 1080p, 60Hz at 2704x1524 (2.7K) and true 30Hz at 4K.

      An action cam at least for me should be able to do high fra

      • My image quality requirements are admittedly not very high, my 1st-gen GoPro is still doing everything I need in that area. The features I'd like and don't have are things like remote computer control and live streaming, running on external power and maybe H.265 support.

      • The problem here is: how many people really care about having those high-end specs, and are willing to pay $$$$ for them? Sure, if you're a professional skier or whatever, you'll want the Rolls-Royce of action cameras, but if you're just a weekend warrior who wants to record his bike ride, a knockoff for a fraction of the price is going to be all you really want or need. It sounds like this company massively overestimated their potential customer base and expanded too much, and are now finding out that hi

        • Well GoPro does sell a $199 model. Perhaps they need a $99 model as well?

          Why can't they be like Canon, or Nikon, or Sony, etc. These companies sell cheap point and shoot cameras to the average masses, but they still continuously research and make new full-frame DSLR models as well for those who want quality.

          I downhill ski, water ski, scuba dive, hike, mountain bike, etc and I love going back and editing my videos later and I find the high frame rate and super clear 4K recordings I get from my GoPro let me

          • Well GoPro does sell a $199 model. Perhaps they need a $99 model as well?

            You got it in one. In the little square form factor, with 1080p60 as the maximum recording quality, and with video passthru for FPV. One camera to rule all other cheap cameras. They'd outsell hotcakes ten to one.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          The defacto standard for YouTube is 1080 and 4K is right around the corner and that is where most weekend warriors will post whatever they film.

          The thing that they should not have done is expand into areas they are not good in. What they do is sports cameras. They build the entire sports camera industry all by themselves, or as good as.

          The GoPro 5 is a new standard wqhere there is no housing anymore. This is a HUGE step in the right direction.
          And people are buying a new camera and still be able to use the

        • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

          Sure, if you're a professional skier or whatever, you'll want the Rolls-Royce of action cameras, but if you're just a weekend warrior who wants to record his bike ride, a knockoff for a fraction of the price is going to be all you really want or need.

          A weekend warrior who spent $3,500 on a carbon fiber bicycle or set of skis might be convinced otherwise.

    • GoPro equipment is madly expensive.

      Yes quality costs money. Show us a current camera with side by side comparison of similar video quality and features for a lower price. You can argue that people don't need 4k video at 60fps but that's changing the argument to suit your conclusion.

      my best guess is maybe heat from the sun killed it

      That's actually interesting since my GoPro has survived several heat related events which I thought would kill it. The worst of which was an starved fire training exercise where you sit in a shipping container and start a large fire on one side. When the air runs

    • GoPro equipment is madly expensive. (snip)

      Mine was more like "Mildly annoyed". Or maybe, "A bit put off"

    • Yes, which is precisely why they wanted to expand *out* of the hardware business. I guess they're giving up, and it's probably not a good sign.
  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:40AM (#53392467)

    Now if they just change the terms of service that the license that the user grants to GoPro is just for their site and that any content uploaded by the user will not be used anywhere else without the express written permission from the user, would give them a perpetual low cost advertising medium.

    Most people producing video have the occasional lucky shot that attracts attention but the people who take the time to edit and tell a story are not likely to post it on a site where the terms of service allows them to monetize the video any way and anywhere they choose.

  • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:44AM (#53392489)

    GoPro said its Hero5 Black camera has been the best-selling digital-imaging device in the U.S. since it launched Oct. 2,

    Well, except for the iPhone.

    And the Samsung Galaxy line...

    And probably the Pixel.

    But if we exclude multi-function imaging devices....

  • Yeah, GoPro (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:48AM (#53392519)

    Got one as a present. Videos look nice butc I learn that;

    Getting quality footage is hard and gets in the way of the activity.

    I'm not a cameraman and should never quit my day job to become one.

    There's always some fucking annoying mount to get, fix, attach or remove.

    Batties, storage and lens dirty are always an issue.

    There's far better options online and most people would not care much to see yours because "awesome" stuff is like garbage these days.

    There's a fuckton of shit to do with the money a GoPro is sold for these days.

    I am not a hero and neither is 99.999% of people.
    • by fisted ( 2295862 )

      Burma Shave.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      I figured the GoPro craze was doomed a year ago when I saw a person at the outlet mall near my house walking around with a GoPro mounted on his dog's back. Unless people are involved in action sports or in certain types of TV productions most of the people that bought GoPros don't really have anything to film so won't keep buying more cameras. GoPro got too big too fast. They should have stayed private, stuck to their niche, and they could make a very solid profit for many years. Why a camera maker ever
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        The drone is good and a good variation on their action camera line. The issue that it is is that the new DJI is so much better. If that one would not have been available, theu would have had a killer.

        • The drone is good and a good variation on their action camera line. The issue that it is is that the new DJI is so much better.

          Well, that and the Karma had a nasty habit of loosing power and falling out of the sky.

          From an optics point of view, the newer DJI's don;t have anything like the lens distortion a GoPro has. Assuming that the Karma was a near perfect beast, the DJI competitor, the Mavic, has the latest in DJI optics and the image is great.

          Plus there is the cost: the Mavic is about the same price as the Karma was - but with the Karma you still needed to buy a GoPro if you didn't already have one. The Mavic has the camera i

      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        Hah, I love the GoPro video from my dog's back!

    • Getting quality footage is hard and gets in the way of the activity.

      That's why exists cinema/photography courses, you know...

    • Getting quality footage is hard and gets in the way of the activity.

      You're doing it wrong, and if an accessory or strap or anything is even remotely difficult to use, you're doing that wrong too.

      There's far better options online

      Oh?

    • Getting quality footage is hard and gets in the way of the activity.

      There's far better options online and most people would not care much to see yours because "awesome" stuff is like garbage these days.

      I am not a hero and neither is 99.999% of people.

      If you're buying something like a GoPro in hopes of shooting quality video and becoming in Internet star, then yeah there's a 99.999% chance you're going to be disappointed.

      But if you're buying it to record family outings and personal events for senti


      • While I do agree it's important to note that the only reason we're taking pictures and recording everything is because in past decades it was much harder.

        Once upon a time to take a picture the entire family would line-up and dress for the "special occasion". A picture used to be special, a short film as well but that's not the case any more. Now we have a state that there's so much data that we're bound to disregard most of it.

        Imagine 5 generations ahead where we have tens of thousands of pictures and s
  • When a company does one thing really, really well, they should probably stick to that. GoPros really are the best action cameras around. That's what they're known for. If the company owner wanted to start a side business creating original entertainment content that's fine, but it shouldn't have been under the GoPro name, or connected directly to the company.

    • > GoPros really are the best action cameras around.

      No, they're really not, that's their marketing department. You probably weren't around for FocusGate, when they shipped out tons of 3+'s that had serious focusing issues and refused to admit to it for the longest time.

  • by gachunt ( 4485797 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:39AM (#53392927)
    I wonder if anyone will record/stream the meeting where they are getting fired.
  • to sell overpriced shit seems to not last long...
  • I love how GoPro keeps trying to put a positive spin to it.... of course, those statements were made for shareholders.

    "GoPro also said Black Friday camera unit sales were up more than 35% year-over-year at leading U.S. retailers"
    Up more than 35% on Black Friday and in the year they finally released a new line after two years... that's little to nothing. Last year they had no new products to show, and the hype was already dead... I'd say a 35% increase from last year is still a defeat - GoPro Hero 5 launch d

    • Right, they had a product that filled a niche in the market and that was enough at first. But making hardware is not a good business unless there are some major barriers to entry for the competition. Unfortunately, that is probably not the case for a camera with a protective cover. They will not thrive and may not survive as solely a hardware company where anybody can mimic their features and undercut their prices. This attempt to pivot into a media company made tons of sense, I wonder what went wrong.

Simulations are like miniskirts, they show a lot and hide the essentials. -- Hubert Kirrman

Working...