Zynga, the online game giant behind such games as FarmVille and CityVille, announced recently that it’s laying off 18% of its workforce, which is about 520 employees. Now, compared to tens of thousands who were laid off during the U.S. auto industry fallout years ago, it may sound trivial. But what’s fueling this layoff is major. It’s all about: Mobile.
It’s true that more people still use desktops to surf the Web than mobile devices, but the shift has been fast and dramatic, and it continues to pick up steam. Just a year ago, Zynga was one of the tech darlings of Wall Street. The stock price then was almost $15/share. CityVille alone had more than 16 million daily active users during its heyday. But now, it’s struggling to stay relevant as more and more people play social games on their mobile devices. Even its stock price has plunged to around $3/share lately.
But it’s not just the games that are migrating to mobile. It’s everything digital, including our bread-and-butter: Video streaming. Mobile streaming is no longer ancillary in an overall streaming strategy, but it’s essential. Yes, mobile streaming can be complicated because there are so many different types of mobile media devices in the market, but with just the right encoding and transcoding solution, you can accomplish maximum mobile reach. And as the mobile OSs, such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10, become more powerful and versatile, video delivery to these platforms will get easier.
Zynga just got slammed by mobile. It would be prudent for all of us to take note and put mobile on the top of our to-do list.