Of the first wave of early MCN’s, some of those acquired — including Maker Studios — have begun to downsize operations, as the big media companies who bought them learn of just how broken the MCN business model was (is?). StyleHaul, the beauty and fashion network funded and later acquired by RTL Group, has just completed a significant round of layoffs that one source claims will account for over half the company.
And, according to sources the company started with the C-level executives earlier this week in Los Angeles and wrapped up lay offs today in NYC. Divisions affected those under Chief Innovation Officer Sean Horvath, Chief Content Officer Mia Goldwyn, Head of Comms Chantelle Siegel and their respective teams*. Olivier Delfosse (COO), Tracy Crane (CMO) and Jeremiah Bates (CFO) are not included in the round of layoffs, says one source. StyleHaul declined on the exact magnitude of the layoffs but provided a statement to VideoInk via email.
[*Update: An earlier version of this story claimed Head of Talent Roy Peters was included in the layoffs. He was not.]
“We have made the strategic decision to reallocate some of our resources to enable us to double the size of the technology and data team over the last two months in keeping with our strategic vision,” said CEO Stephanie Horaczewski, echoing a similar message as Fullscreen did earlier today with their own round of layoffs. “The branded content portion of our business continues to expand.”
StyleHaul, then, seems to be diverting its business from a multi-faceted media company to a branded entertainment services agency focused on its bread and butter — the female lifestyle category — and, more recently, men’s lifestyle with Hauk. The company also launched its own technology and data platform StyleHaul Society earlier this year. The tech surfaces intel on influencer-driven trending topics across social media.
“All measures serve one goal: to further grow our business dynamically and to strengthen monetization capabilities,” Horbaczewski says in the statement. And as it would appear, monetization seems to be struggling in the content development, innovation and network sides of the business. In looking at its SocialBlade profile, it also appears StyleHaul has lost most of its influential talent from its network, likely impacting the businesses incremental revenue from branded and ad-rev-sharing revenues.
Still, Horbaczewski claims: “StyleHaul continues to experience strong performance, earning more than 50% year-over-year growth in the first half of 2017. “