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Netflix Taps Microsoft for Upcoming Ad-Supported Streaming Service

Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

SEATTLE—Netflix has selected Microsoft as its technology and sales partner to help power the streamer’s first ad-supported subscription offering, which is expected to launch later this year. 

“We’re thrilled to be named Netflix’s technology and sales partner to help power their first ad-supported subscription offering,” said Mikhail Parakhin, president Web Experiences, Microsoft in a blog post. 

“Marketers looking to Microsoft for their advertising needs will have access to the Netflix audience and premium connected TV inventory,” he added. “All ads served on Netflix will be exclusively available through the Microsoft platform. Today’s announcement also endorses Microsoft’s approach to privacy, which is built on protecting customers’ information.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in June (opens in new tab) that Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, and Alphabet, which owns YouTube, were top candidates to become partners with Netflix on the new ad supported tier the company announced in April (opens in new tab)

In the end, Netflix settled on Microsoft, which doesn’t own a major streaming service but is a powerhouse in the digital ad business and cloud-based streaming technologies. 

The partnership with Microsoft will allow Netflix to launch the ad-supported tier relatively quickly without having to set up the extensive and expensive tech and sales infrastructure needed for ad-supported streaming. 

“In April we announced that we will introduce a new lower priced ad-supported subscription plan for consumers, in addition to our existing ads-free basic, standard, and premium plans,” explained Netflix COO Greg Peters. “Today we are pleased to announce that we have selected Microsoft as our global advertising technology and sales partner.”

“Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we together build a new ad-supported offering,” he added. “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.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.