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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Confirms Partner Talks For Ad-Supported Tier And Discusses Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais Backlash: Cannes Lions

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Ted Sarandos confirmed today that Netflix is speaking to multiple potential partners to help it introduce ads to its platform.The streamer’s Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer was speaking on a ‘Future Of Entertainment’ panel at the Cannes Lions advertising conference where he received the event’s Entertainment Person Of The Year award.The streamer said in April that it would offer a cheaper ad-supported tier to customers after suffering blows to subscriber numbers and its stock.

It has reportedly met with Google, NBCUniversal and Roku to discuss potential ad-sales and marketing partnerships. The idea of Netflix buying AVOD specialist Roku has also been rumored.Sarandos would not be drawn on a commitment to any one partnership – pressed on Roku, he said only, “I don’t know where that came from” – but he confirmed Netflix had started conversations with “all of them,” adding they “all have different solutions.”The plan, he revealed, is to create “a pretty easy entry to the market, which we’ll build on and iterate to make Netflix a destination for users.

What we’ll do first is not representative of what the product will be ultimately. Start light, keep it simple and iterate fast.”He remained agnostic on whether the streamer would then move to owning its own advertising arm – “If it becomes so important [that] we want to have control over it, we might.”Content on the platform, however, remains king, and Sarandos revealed some impressive graphics showing the user pathways for viewers both coming to shows such as Bridgerton and then moving onto other programs and films.

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