Netflix Touts New Ad Service With 5M Monthly Users at Upfronts Presentation

Netflix touted its new ad-supported service at the Upfronts in New York May 17.

Jeremi Gorman, president, worldwide advertising, noted “we are building a forever business” and that in the first six months “we worked hard to be brilliant at the basics, focusing on areas advertisers told us matter most — like geo, age, and gender targeting; third-party verification and deploying the right brand suitability mechanisms for [advertisers] to make the best decisions for [their] brand.”

“We treat our ads with the same care we treat our incredible content: serving them locally; seamlessly transitioning between shows and ads with no latency; and implementing industry-leading frequency caps with an ad load of four to five minutes per hour,” he added.

According to Nielsen, Netflix’s “reach at two or more hours is higher than almost everyone else’s reach at a one-minute threshold,” he said.

“Two hours compared to one minute,” he said. “That’s what sets Netflix apart from other streamers. It’s the difference between foundational viewing and simply sampling.” 

He said Netflix prefers to talk about metrics “like monthly active users,” adding that six months after launch, the ad-supported plan has nearly 5 million global monthly active users, with a median age of 34.

“Since early this year, our ads member base has more than doubled,” added co-CEO Greg Peters. “On average, more than a quarter of our signups now choose the ads plan in countries where it’s available. Seventy percent of our ad-supported members are between the ages of 18 and 49.” 

He noted that “engagement on our ads plan is similar to our comparable non-ads plans.” 

Peter Naylor, VP of global advertising sales, announced new product and measurement solutions for Netflix’s ad-supported plan, including the ability for brands “to connect with our audiences during some of the most watched and most relevant cultural moments of the year.” This includes two new sponsorship opportunities to give brands “the opportunity to be within the top streaming content anywhere,” he said.

Advertisers will be able to sponsor the presentation of some of the service’s most popular series on Netflix at launch. These opportunities will be available first in the United States, with other countries to follow. They will also be able to align themselves with collections on Netflix by featuring their campaigns within local holidays (e.g. Valentine’s Day) and key brand moments (e.g. Sustainability Stories).

In addition, brands will be able to run sponsorships at the start of an episode, showcasing their brand before an episode even begins.

Brands can align themselves with Netflix’s top 10, which guarantees brand placement within Netflix’s most popular shows and films, as part of its daily country top 10 series and the top 10 film collections. 

With Nielsen ONE Launch, starting in Q4, brands in the United States will be able to use Nielsen DAR (Digital Ad Ratings), which offers de-duplicated audience measurement metrics for campaigns running on the Netflix ad-supported plan. The tool will enable advertisers to quantify the unique reach of their campaign and deepen their understanding of Netflix’s audience, including by age and gender, according to Netflix.

Netflix has partnered with EDO, a TV outcomes measurement platform used to measure the immediate impact of ads across linear and streaming, which, according to Netflix, found that:

  • Netflix outperforms the streaming and linear averages when it comes to driving engagement; and
  • viewers are over four times more likely to engage with an ad on Netflix, compared to other streamers, and over four and a half times more likely than linear TV. 


Closing the Upfront, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO said, “Now you’ve heard a lot from us today, and I think it all boils down to one thing: Netflix is a little bit different. In the past — when consumers had very little choice of where to watch — it didn’t matter so much which network a show or film landed on. They were all very similar. Today, we believe that having a title land on Netflix makes all the difference in the world.”

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He added, “Netflix shows and movies are generating global audiences that are many times bigger than our closest competitors” and “the special relationship that fans have with Netflix programming is shaping culture in powerful and unexpected ways.”

Noting the service’s past revolutionary breakthroughs, Sarandos promised for “similar breakthroughs in advertising” that “can be just as impactful.”

Discovery Latest Media Company to Nix Upfront TV Shows Presentation

Discovery has become the latest media company cancel its live Upfront presentation in New York. The move followed similar decisions by NBC, CBS, Fox, Disney, The CW and WarnerMedia Entertainment to nix showcasing new TV shows in an effort to thwart staff exposure and possible spread of the coronavirus.

Discovery said its decision was made out of an abundance of caution and care for the health and safety of employees, talent and business partners. Discovery said it has prepared an alternative “digital experience” to showcase the company, portfolio, and advanced advertising products to its clients and agency partners, with details to be announced at a later date.

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“The decision to cancel is bittersweet but unequivocally the right one,” Jon Steinlauf, Discovery’s chief U.S. ad sales officer, said in a statement. “We have a terrific story to tell and more opportunities and products than ever for current and prospective advertisers. We will just tell that story in a way that best suits these unprecedented times.”

Discovery’s content portfolio includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport.

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