Lead Forensics

Netflix moves closer to ad-tiers with BARB tie-in

13 October 2022

Netflix has taken a giant step forward toward introducing ad-tiered packages by making its viewing data public via BARB.

As reported in Campaign, BARB will begin sharing the monthly reach and share of viewing for both streaming platforms and broadcaster groups from November, provided they constitute at least 0.5% of the overall viewing share.

What’s more, weekly reporting on the top 50 shows across SVOD and linear TV will be released publicly, granting advertisers and agencies access to an unprecedented breadth of viewing data.

Netflix has now nailed its flag to the mast, with plans to launch an ad-tiered model in early 2023 moving forward.

A shift borne from necessity

It’s no secret that Netflix has been haemorrhaging subscribers recently. With the cost of living crisis putting a strain on household outgoings, numbers have dwindled as people reassess their budgets. Streaming, it turns out, isn’t a priority for many, with almost one million users cancelling their subscription in Q2.

To reverse the slide, Netflix has teamed up with Microsoft to develop an ad-tiered offering that will open new revenue streams from early 2023. This is obviously big news for advertisers; despite its slowed growth and a slew of redundancies, Netflix still accounted for 8.2% of total viewing in September, easily beating competitors like Prime (3.6%) and Disney+ (3%). It also retains a strong presence within the lives of the 16-34 demographic – an audience that brands often find difficult to reach via linear TV.

As well as bringing ads into the revenue equation, Netflix is also poised to crack down on shared logins; a growing focus on content curated for the silver market – or in other words, viewers typically older than the platform’s younger denizens – has also been mooted.

Expect an innovative interpretation 

With a cache of audience data to call upon, brands can safely assume that addressability and personalisation while form the beating heart of Netflix’s advertising packages. Microsoft isn’t exactly a leading player in connected TV ads, yet it does have a huge amount of technical expertise to call upon; its recent acquisition of Xandr further hinted at plans to become more involved in this space.

There are also rumours that Netflix and Microsoft plan on harnessing their fledgling partnership to makes waves across the cloud and gaming spheres, though both companies have distanced themselves from such suggestions.

What is clear is that, with Netflix’s ad-tiered model, Amazon Prime’s foray into ads, and the launch of CFlight – a cross-industry collaboration that brings linear TV and VOD under one unified buying and measurement process – all coming hot on the heels of one another, the stars appear to be aligning for a new era – one where all forms of video advertising will be planned, bought and optimised as part of one cohesive framework.

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