LOUISVILLE — When the world shut down in the early portion of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming video providers such as Louisville’s Gaia Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA) were major beneficiaries. But as normalcy has crept back into daily life, membership is decreasing, and profits are turning to losses.
Gaia, which said in its annual report this week that it eliminated three dozen jobs in 2022, posted a loss of $3.1 million on sales of $82 million in the most recent fiscal year. That’s compared with a profit of $3.7 million on revenues of $79.6 million in 2021.
“After a challenging 2022, when both revenue and adjusted EBITDA only increased in the single digits due to the post COVID subscriber contraction experienced industry wide, we have started to experience member growth this year,” Gaia CEO Jirka Rysavy said in a prepared statement. “During the last few months, we have eliminated over $5 million in annualized spending, which includes 36 headcount that were added over the past two years to offset reduced efficiency because of work-from-home mandates. We expect to see the benefits of such savings begin during the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Gaia’s revenues decreased 6% to $19.6 million from $20.8 million in the same period of 2021. The decrease was “primarily driven by the member base declines we have experienced since the second quarter of 2022,” the company said.
“The fourth quarter continued to be impacted by headwinds faced throughout the year surrounding elevated cancellations due to members that joined during the peak COVID period, as well as reduced efficacy in our online advertising efforts tied to ongoing privacy changes,” Rysavy’s statement said. “Our focus is growing revenues cost effectively, including increasing the efficiency of our targeted marketing efforts that attract and retain high lifetime value members, while continuing to invest in content that keeps the high lifetime value members engaged and retained.”