October 1, 2023

Digital Marketing Education

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Netflix advertisers commit smaller budgets during upfront, but expect higher delivery

Making progress

Multiple buyers expressed general positivity over the advancements Netflix has made in their tech capabilities as well as the general process with the streamer’s sales leadership. Although Netflix debuted its ad tier with limited targeting capabilities, the third buyer was pleased to see innovations native to streaming.

While the buyer said the majority of Netflix’s capabilities are still foundational, with most targeting done by broad demo, geographic location or content, it has added options such as the ability to be the first advertiser a user sees on a given day when they start a show or movie. The buyer also noted progress in brand safety offerings, which allow advertisers to pull out of being placed with undesirable subject matter at the episode-level, without having to axe an entire show for the single entry that violates the brand’s guidelines

Overall, Netflix “brought in some real pro sellers” since their previous round of negotiations, said the third buyer. “[Peter Naylor] was involved in the launch of streaming platforms [such as Hulu], so he knows what it takes to grow a platform and how to sell it. He got it right.”

A fourth buyer, though, questioned if Netflix’s previous round of negotiations left too many advertisers with a bad taste for the streamer.

“The people that signed on last year to do advertising with Netflix—high price, low guarantees, low volume of users, no real transparency on how they were going to grow a user base,” said the fourth buyer. “So, a lot of clients paid the high price. Some of them were happy and delivered; some of them were unhappy and didn’t deliver. Jumping forward to this year’s upfront, the big consternation Netflix had is that they don’t have clients just jumping at the platform.”


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