Netflix Inc. has picked Microsoft Corp. as the technology and sales partner for its advertising-supported subscription plan, a Microsoft executive disclosed in a blog post on Wednesday.
“Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we together build a new ad-supported offering,” Netflix
Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters said in the post, which was written by Mikhail Parakhin, president of web experiences for Microsoft. “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.”
“It’s very early days and we have much to work through,” Peters continued. “But our long-term goal is clear: More choice for consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers. We’re excited to work with Microsoft as we bring this new service to life.”
selection by the streaming giant is part of an ambitious business-strategy reboot by Netflix to bump up revenue and subscriptions after it reported a dip in net paid subscription additions for the first time in a decade.
For years, Netflix has been reluctant to introduce an ad-supported service but indicated in April it was open to the idea after disappointing quarterly results amid tough economic conditions and escalating competition from Walt Disney Co.
Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.
and others. An ad-supported subscription option could arrive this year on Netflix, which reports second-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
In a tweet, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said the partnership would give publishers “more long-term viable ad monetization platforms, so more people can access the content they love wherever they are.”
The news propelled Netflix’s battered stock up 2% in trading Wednesday. Microsoft shares were flat.