How Much Netflix, TikTok, and Other Media Companies Pay US Employees
Table of Contents
- Streaming merged media with technology, driving companies from Disney to TikTok to compete for talent.
- Insider analyzed US pay data to see what eight media and tech giants offer top talent.
- They include Netflix, Snap, Roku, and more.
fused media with technology, urging media companies to think like tech platforms and tech giants to move into content.
The result is a massive shift in media and tech workforces. Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and others have been staffing up in tech and consumer-facing roles as they focus on their direct-to-consumer businesses. And tech companies like TikTok have made key hires from more traditional media spheres.
With media and tech heavyweights increasingly vying for top talent, Insider analyzed recent pay data to see how much the major players in the space offered top talent.
The data, released by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification, shows how much companies offered to pay employees who they wanted to hire through work visas in the US.
We looked at pay data, mainly from October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 (with one exception), across nine companies including
; The New York Times; Roku; Snapchat owner Snap; TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance;
, Amazon’s livestreaming platform; and Warner Bros. Discovery.
These are base salaries, and do not include other forms of compensation such as stock options or cash bonuses.
Disney’s US streamer Hulu offered base salaries ranging from $93,150 to $208,000 per year, according to wages from 57 foreign-labor-certification applications.
Most of the salaries were for tech jobs, including data scientist and software engineer roles. There were also salaries for a handful of other roles at Hulu, such as marketing analyst and manager of content financial analysis.
Many of these jobs are now part of Disney’s broader streaming division, as the company has centralized its direct-to-consumer efforts.
Read our full breakdown of how much employees at Hulu and other Disney divisions make.
Streaming giant Netflix offered base salaries ranging from $40.45 per hour to $800,000 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 240 foreign-labor-certification applications.
They included content, finance, legal, marketing, product, and other roles, many of which offered six-figure base salaries.
Netflix’s workforce boomed in recent years as the company staffed up to support its growing content endeavors and, more recently, its push into gaming. It added 1,900 full-time staffers last year, ending 2021 with 11,300 employees globally.
But the streamer also recently laid off staffers in marketing, animation, and other divisions amid internal restructurings and subscriber-growth struggles that have raised questions about the company’s growth plans. Still, Netflix is planning an expansion into advertising, among other areas, that could help create new jobs.
Read our full breakdown of how much Netflix employees make.
The New York Times
The New York Times offered base salaries ranging from $70,000 to $306,000 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 60 foreign-labor-certification applications. The pay data spanned October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021.
The salaries were from jobs in the paper’s newsroom and other divisions such as advertising, data, and engineering. Many of the positions were based in New York, though some were based in California, North Carolina, and Texas.
The Times has been in growth mode lately, buying up new properties like sports site The Athletic and hit game Wordle as it seeks to boost its subscription offering to readers across the world. The paper’s news division also expanded by hundreds in the last few years and now employs about 1,700 journalists.
Read our full breakdown of how much New York Times employees make.
Roku, a leader in US streaming devices and platforms, offered base salaries ranging from $75,000 to $687,500 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 175 foreign-labor-certification applications.
The salaries were mainly for product, engineering, and other tech roles. Most of the jobs were based in California, but there were also positions based in other US states including New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.
The early days of the pandemic fueled a period of growth for Roku, helping to accelerate its transition from a small-but-mighty maker of streaming-TV boxes into a video platform business that makes most of its revenue through advertising.
The company has hit speed bumps since. Its growth has slowed, as have other streaming businesses. And its platform boss Scott Rosenberg, who led Roku’s push to sell advertising, is set to leave the company this spring.
But Roku hasn’t show signs of pulling back on its investment into original content, and has continued to staff up recently to support its growth plans.
Read our full breakdown of how much Roku employees make.
Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, offered base salaries ranging from $50,315 to $500,000 per year for various US roles — and even $1.95 million for one, according to wages from 303 foreign-labor-certification applications.
The salaries were mainly for data, engineering, and product jobs, as well as some marketing and other positions. The jobs were based in Santa Monica, Seattle, Silicon Valley’s Mountain View, San Francisco, or New York.
Snap heartily grew its workforce in recent years. During Q1 alone, the company said it grew its full-time headcount by 52% year over year.
But it’s now pumping the breaks on the pace of hiring amid the economic downturn. Snap told employees recently that while it still planned to grow its headcount by about 10% this year, hiring for new roles will slow substantially.
Read our full breakdown of how much Snap employees make.
The music-streaming company Spotify offered base salaries ranging from $75,440 to $293,356 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 133 foreign-labor-certification applications.
The vast majority of the salaries were for roles based in New York and Boston, though Spotify now allows staffers to “work from anywhere.” The jobs included a mix of advertising, research, product, and administrative roles.
The Swedish company said in April that it’s continued to hire aggressively. It told investors that hiring was up significantly in Q1 and would continue to grow in Q2.
It’s focusing on the tech and product side of the business, with more than half of new hires in research and development roles, the company said. It’s also staffing up in sales and marketing.
Read our full breakdown of how much Spotify employees make.
The short-video app TikTok and its parent company Bytedance offered base salaries ranging from $30 per hour to $400,000 per year for US certain roles, according to wages from 256 foreign-labor-certification applications.
Many of the salaries were for roles based in the companies’ Mountain View, California offices.
The ByteDance salaries included jobs that focus on corporate-support functions like finance that could apply to any division or product within the company. And the TikTok salaries were for TikTok-specific positions in areas like product development and growth marketing.
TikTok emerged in recent years as a major player in tech and media.
Its user base exploded in 2021, passing one billion monthly active users globally, according to the company. And it’s been staffing up to meet growing demand. It had around 1,600 US job openings listed on its website as of March.
The company has not yet said whether it will pullback on hiring amid the economic downturn, like some of its competitors are.
Read our full breakdown of how much TikTok employees make.
Twitch, Amazon’s livestreaming giant, offered base salaries ranging from $60,174 and $201,968 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 84 foreign-labor-certification applications.
Most of the salaries were for data, engineering, and other tech jobs based in San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington.
Twitch is the largest platform by a longshot in the game streaming space.
In February, Amazon-owned Twitch clocked 1.9 billion hours of watch-time, per analytics firm Rainmaker.gg, a slight dip from the 2 billion hours it saw in January. By comparison, Facebook Gaming clocked 497 million hours of watch time that month.
Internally, however, a recent Bloomberg report found high turnover among Twitch’s workforce. Six C-Suite executives – and a total of 60 employees – have left the company this year, per Bloomberg, including Twitch’s COO, chief content officer, and head of creator development. The report said 300 employees left the company in 2021.
Nevertheless, Twitch still appears to be staffing up with hundreds of open roles listed on its jobs board.
Read our full breakdown of how much Twitch employees make.
Warner Bros. Discovery
Discovery and WarnerMedia, which recently merged to create Warner Bros. Discovery, have each offered base salaries as high as $300,000 per year for various US roles, based on work-visa applications submitted by both companies between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
The data included 58 salaries at WarnerMedia and 80 salaries at Discovery.
The WarnerMedia salaries ranged from $55 per hour to $300,000 per year, and were mostly for jobs at HBO, though the data also included salaries from from other parts of the company.
The Discovery salaries ranged from $52,333 to $300,000, and included a mix of business intelligence, data, software engineering, and other roles with pay rates similar to those at WarnerMedia.
The union of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. created a company of formidable size, with about 30,000 employees at the parent of Warner Bros. and more than 10,000 at the conglomerate that houses cable stalwarts HGTV, the Food Network, and TLC.
The dust is still settling on the merger, and corporate consolidation almost always brings “synergies” (read: widespread job cuts) as leadership strategizes to trim the fat.
But for now, both parts of the new whole continue to enlist more staffers: There were in April more than 360 online job listings at WarnerMedia and over 300 open positions at Discovery Inc., and a company spokesperson told Insider at the time that there was currently no hiring freeze in place.
Read our full breakdown of how much Warner Bros. Discovery employees make.