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Netflix partners with Microsoft for ad-supported plan

Netflix's ad-supported subscription plan looks to be taking shape thanks to a new partnership with Microsoft.

Image: Netflix
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This has not been a banner year for Netflix, as the company has struggled with falling profits and a massive loss of subscribers. Earlier this year, the streaming giant proposed a new ad-supported subscription plan as a way to get back on track. It now appears that this plan is moving forward with the aid of a new partner: Microsoft.

Here is the full statement from COO/CPO Greg Peters, via the Netflix website:

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. 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 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.

It’s very early days and we have much to work through. 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.

The Windows/Xbox house is likewise hailing the move via a post on the Microsoft website:

At launch, consumers will have more options to access Netflix’s award-winning content. Marketers looking to Microsoft for their advertising needs will have access to the Netflix audience and premium connected TV inventory. 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.

Netflix Microsoft ad-supported subscription plan
This week's Resident Evil is among the many titles coming to Netflix (Image courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix originally announced its intentions for an ad-supported plan back in April during its Q1 2022 earnings interview. In exchange for rolling out ads, Netflix is looking to offer cheaper, more affordable options to consumers. Given that the company lost somewhere in the vicinity of 200,000 subscribers in Q1 2022, Netflix is hoping this move will help stop the bleeding. It's been an up-and-down year for the streaming service, as it rolled out a new Netflix Games department and has a full lineup of licensed and original programming ready for the months ahead. However, on top of the subscriber loss, Netflix has also laid off hundreds of employees over the past few months across two separate firing waves.

There is currently no word on when an ad-supported plan would be made available to users. Whether an ad-supported plan with Microsoft will fix what ails Netflix remains to be seen. We'll continue to follow this story, so keep it on Shacknews for more updates.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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