Netflix Should Consider An Ad-Supported TV Service

Premium non-advertising services -- like Netflix -- might need to find a good ad-supported TV or streaming platform in the future.

Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, says when it comes to promoting big events, movies, or launching a high-profile TV series, having an ad-supported platform for marketing of other content will be key in the future. No matter where that content runs.

Indeed, streamers NBCU's Peacock, Walt Disney's Disney+, Discovery's discovery+ have used much of their traditional, linear TV network's ad time for promotion and marketing.

Shell says people underestimate the usage of linear TV to promote streaming.

“If you just have linear, you have the ability to drive people to the time a show launches and create an event,” say Shell, at an recent industry event. “But you have no ability to launch to the vast majority of your viewership that wants to see TV shows binged or time-shifted.”

“Conversely, if you just have a streaming platform -- and you have seen this a little with Netflix -- you struggle to find a way to create an event and drive people to the launch of a show and create some noise.”



Recently, Discovery has been using a huge swath of its linear TV networks’ on-air time for promote discovery+ -- perhaps more than anyone else.

For example, for roughly the last six months, discovery+ has aired roughly half of the all video streaming national TV industry impressions -- 50.8 billion out of 98.8 billion, according to -- in large part due to wall-to-wall on-air promotion for its discovery+ on its linear TV networks.

Discovery has run promos amounting to $217.3 million in media value, with just 12% of its total national TV marketing effort ($246.6 million) coming from paid national TV advertising -- $29.2 million.

In a distant second-place, Disney+ is at 7.5 billion impressions.

All this begs the question about a potential Netflix move  we didn’t see coming: Should the SVOD platform buy -- perhaps separately operated -- an big ad-supported TV network as a marketing tool for its future endeavors?

Netflix has an aversion to adding any advertising option to its platform. But is that the only real advertising-related option?

1 comment about "Netflix Should Consider An Ad-Supported TV Service".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 16, 2021 at 10:14 a.m.

    Wayne, Hastings of Netflix was quoted recently as saying that he didn't want to compete with Google and/or Facebook for ad revenue recently. If that's still his view---actually he would be competing with the various TV and cable networks----then he is unlikely to take advantage of this huge opportunity.

    In my opinion the time was right for Netflix about two years ago. Now, I'm not so sure with all,of the new AVOD services---many by the TV guys---popping up. Also,Netflix would need a very strong staff of experienced network sales execs, researchers and packagers as well as Nielsen to make it work---even if a substantial number of subscribers opted for an ad-supported service at lower sub costs.

    If Netflix decided now to go in this direction it would probably take two years to get enough subs to be interesting as well as learning the sales ropes, staffing up, etc. Methinks that Netflix may have missed the ad sales boat---but we shall see, won't we?

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