Changes are afoot at annotations-focused service Genius – formerly Rap Genius – and they involve focusing less on annotations.

The company laid off a quarter of its staff in January, but according to The Verge has been hiring more staff around video and advertising.

“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,” said co-founder Tom Lehman – the latter a reference to Genius’ partnership with Spotify.

“Video makes it a little bit more accessible. I love the Genius website. One of my favourite 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.”

The risk is that focusing on video makes Genius just another new media company chasing dollars on social platforms.

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