Netflix is partnering with Microsoft to power its first ad-support subscription offering. In an announcement, the company said that Microsoft will be its global advertising technology and sales partner. Netflix had announced back in April that it planned to launch new a ad-supported subscription, which would be priced lower for consumers.
The announcement had come after Netflix had reported a tough quarter with a loss in subscribers. The new plan with advertisements will be added in addition to the “existing ads-free basic, standard and premium plans.” Netflix also has a mobile-only plan for India.
In a blog post, Netflix wrote, “Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.” This partnership means all advertisements being served on the streaming service will be via Microsoft’s platform. It was reported earlier that Netflix was in talks with Google and Comcast Corp’s NBC Universal for potential tie-ups.
In a separate blog post, Microsoft wrote, “Marketers looking to Microsoft for their advertising needs will have access to the Netflix audience and premium connected TV inventory….Today’s announcement also endorses Microsoft’s approach to privacy, which is built on protecting customers’ information.”
So when are ads coming to Netflix?
First Netflix will keep the ad-support plans separate from the existing plans. This means these newer plans could be much cheaper given they would have advertisements on them. It is not clear if Netflix will make changes to the mobile, basic and standard plans in India, given these are typically priced much lower than the US market price. Rivals such as Disney+Hotstar do offer ads on their more basic plans.
It has been reported in the past that Netflix’s ad-supported plans could arrive by the end of 2022. It is not clear if they will be released globally or whether Netflix will introduce them in select countries first.
Netflix also plans to crack down on account sharing and could soon limit this to only immediate family members. It might soon charge customers for sharing account passwords with other friends and extended family.