Free text input
Official datasets samples
Extract keywords from sample document
Genius quietly laid off a bunch of its engineers — now can it survive as a media company?. Genius, which raised $56.9 million on the promise that it would one day annotate the entire internet, has been losing its minds. In January, the company quietly laid off a quarter of its staff, with the bulk of the cuts coming from the engineering department. In a post on the Genius blog at the time, co-founder Tom Lehman told employees that Genius planned to shift its emphasis away from the annotation platform that once attracted top-tier investors in favor of becoming a more video-focused media company. 'After taking a careful look at the company and our priorities,' Lehman wrote, 'we’ve had to make some tough decisions about how we want to spend our resources. And unfortunately this meant that today we laid off some very talented people.' The company then took the unusual step of posting the Genius usernames of those it had laid off — 12 full-time and five part-time employees. 'WE NEEDED TO SHIFT RESOURCES FROM CAPTURING KNOWLEDGE... TOWARD PACKAGING AND DISTRIBUTING KNOWLEDGE.' At the same time, Lehman noted that the company was continuing to hire for roles in video and sales. The company recently redesigned its homepage with expanded space for editorial content and advertising. It has also been deepening its Behind the Lyrics partnership with Spotify, for which it contributes a mix of song lyrics and factoids that pop up in a slideshow format when you’re listening to popular songs. 'The change we made in January was in recognition of the fact that we needed to shift resources from capturing knowledge — which we've been doing almost exclusively for the past five years — toward packaging and distributing knowledge into easy-to-consume formats like video and Spotify Behind the Lyrics,' Lehman told The Verge. It’s not unusual for tech companies to transform over time, though typically they are loath to lay off engineers. But Genius’ shift is more dramatic than most: going from all-encompassing annotator of the internet to a more traditional media company model, chasing video views alongside an ever-growing number of well-capitalized competitors. The move illustrates the company’s difficulty attracting contributors — and an audience for their contributions — particularly outside of the music world. In an interview last week, Lehman said the company had turned to video in an effort to reach its core audience‚ which continues to be rap fans, beyond its website and mobile apps. 'Video makes it a little bit more accessible,' he said. 'I love the Genius website. One of my favorite websites. But it can be a little frustrating to use. You have to be really, really dedicated to learn everything about a song on Genius. You've got to be down to click and read a lot.' Genius’ videos to date have included interviews with artists about their craft, and a series where rappers perform original freestyle verses. One of Lehman’s favorite videos traces a whistle sample featured in a series of popular songs back to its origins in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Last week, Genius posted a video about rapper Lil Yachty learning how to make pizza. The company is also investing in original editorial content, aggregating news headlines, doing Q&As with artists like the Track Burnaz, and writing short profiles.
Number of keywords:
Max ngram size: