Netflix has hired Microsoft to provide ad technology for the planned tier of the ad-supported streaming service, the companies announced Wednesday. Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal and Google were supposedly “top contenders” to run ads on Netflix before Microsoft won the contract.
Microsoft will be the “global ad technology and sales partner” for the “new low-cost ad-supported subscription plan,” Netflix said Wednesday.
“Microsoft has the proven ability to meet all of our advertising needs as we work together to create a new ad-supported offering,” Netflix said. “Most importantly, Microsoft has provided the flexibility to innovate over time, both on the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members. The ad-supported streaming subscription will be offered “in addition to our existing basic, standard, and premium ad-free plans,” Netflix said.
Netflix also said it’s still “very early and we have a lot to work on” before launching the ad-supported tier, though company employees recently informed it plans to roll it out by the end of the year. year. The plan for the ads was announced in April by CEO Reed Hastings amid slowing revenue growth and a loss of subscribers.
Netflix hasn’t said how much it will charge for the ad-supported tier. Netflix (English only prices in the United States, they currently range from $9.99 to $19.99 per month.
Microsoft’s purchase of the AT&T division helped it win a contract
Microsoft released its own press release that said, “All commercials running on Netflix will be exclusively available through the Microsoft platform. Microsoft said Netflix’s choice “approved of Microsoft’s approach to privacy, which is built on protecting customer information.”
Microsoft ran ads on the Bing search engine and its predecessors for many years, but its ability to land the Netflix deal is believed to be due to its purchase of AT&T’s Xandr programmatic advertising system. “It was the purchase of Xandr that gave Microsoft the technology to become a contender in the highly publicized race to win the Netflix partnership, people familiar with the matter said,” the Wall Street Journal reported. wrote.
Microsoft’s choice “came as a surprise to some ad industry executives because Microsoft isn’t as well-known for its video advertising capabilities as other companies,” the WSJ wrote.