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Netflix partners with Microsoft to offer ad-supported subscription tier

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Netflix will be offering a new option for customers – a cheaper, possibly free, subscription tier supported by ads – after announcing a partnership with tech giant Microsoft.

So this means when you’re gripped by an episode of Stranger Things and enjoying the latest Bridgerton instalment, you’ll have to sit through an ad break like you would on free-to-air TV.

Free-to-air TV is free because it is supported by ads and Netflix is using this same model to allow it to offer a much cheaper, if not free, subscription choice.

Microsoft will become Netflix’s technology and sales partner when it introduces its first ad-supported subscription option.

“This is a big day for Netflix and Microsoft. We’re excited to offer new premium value to our ecosystem of marketers and partners while helping Netflix deliver more choice for its customers,” said Microsoft’s President Web Experiences, Mikhail Parakhin.

The partnership means all the ads that are served on the Netflix platform will be available through the Microsoft platform.

“It’s very early days and we have much to work through. But our long-term goal is clear,” says Netflix Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters.

“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.”

Some are viewing Microsoft as a surprising choice as a partner for Netflix, but industry insiders say Microsoft does not have a competing streaming service unlike the other big players in the market like Google (who owns YouTube) and Comcast (which owns NBCUniversal).

There are already several entertainment platforms that offer free ad-supported access including YouTube and Spotify.