Netflix 2023 Upfront: Building a Forever Business
Our ads offering is just six months old, and while we have much more to do, we're making steady progress. Like everything at Netflix, it all starts with our members and the breadth and quality of our programming.
Greg Peters, co-CEO, kicked off Netflix's first Upfront today by explaining to advertisers that:
"We share a common goal, which is building connection. You want to connect consumers with your amazing brands. And we want to connect them with amazing entertainment they'll love";
"For our members, it all starts with the variety and quality of our TV shows and films. So whatever your taste, whatever mood you're in, whoever you're with - we'll have something great for you to watch. From Emmy-winning dramas to reality TV, stand-up comedy to true crime, Oscar winners to action-adventure, rom-com to horror, we have it all"; and
"It's why, despite all the competition out there, Netflix is the most popular streaming service today. To be the one to watch, you need everyone watching. And that's what sets Netflix apart".
In 2022, Netflix viewing across Nielsen's Top 10 most watched lists was three times greater than all our competitors combined - and five times greater than our nearest competitor. This year alone, according to Nielsen, we've had the number one original TV show on streaming in the US for 15 out of 16 weeks - and the number one movie for 14 weeks.
Bela Bajaria, Chief Content Officer, said this is only possible because Netflix focuses on "super serving our audience - giving you something you will really love, that will really satisfy you. To super-serve our members we have to focus on quality, with the understanding that quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder."
Bajaria added that: "No other entertainment company aspires to create great movies and shows across so many genres, in so many countries, and for such a broad, diverse audience. We do it by partnering with world-class talent - giving them the freedom and support to tell their best stories. Our partnership with them is the single biggest reason we're able to bring fresh, original storytelling to our members."
New and Returning Series
During its Upfront, Netflix highlighted new upcoming shows including Shawn Levy's All the Light We Cannot See, Griselda with Sofía Vergara and the latest epic from David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Alexander Woo, 3 Body Problem, along with returning favorites like Bridgerton, Stranger Things, Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Outer Banks, and Cobra Kai. "Netflix has more returning series than any other streamer," Bajaria added.
Netflix also announced the return of some of TV's most popular shows with season renewals of Ginny & Georgia (S3 and S4) and Virgin River (S6), which come after recent renewals for The Night Agent (S2) and The Diplomat (S2). On the reality side, Love is Blind (S5) will be back in September, and Squid Game: The Challenge will debut in November.
Getting Brilliant at the Basics
Jeremi Gorman, President, Worldwide Advertising, said "we are building a forever business" and that in the first six months "we worked hard to be brilliant at the basics, focusing on areas advertisers told us matter most - like geo, age, and gender targeting; third-party verification and deploying the right brand suitability mechanisms for [advertisers] to make the best decisions for [their] brand." And "while we're focusing on reaching parity, we're also innovating. We treat our ads with the same care we treat our incredible content: serving them locally; seamlessly transitioning between shows and ads with no latency; and implementing industry-leading frequency caps with an ad load of four to five minutes per hour."
Gorman also explained that when it comes to engagement, Netflix stands alone. According to Nielsen, Netflix's "reach at two or more hours is higher than almost everyone else's reach at a one-minute threshold. Two hours compared to one minute. That's what sets Netflix apart from other streamers. It's the difference between foundational viewing and simply sampling." And "that's why we prefer to talk about metrics that actually matter to advertisers - like monthly active users. Just six months after launch, our ad-supported plan has nearly five million global monthly active users, with a median age of 34".
New Product and Measurement Solutions
As Peters explained: "Since early this year, our ads member base has more than doubled. On average, more than a quarter of our signups now choose the ads plan in countries where it's available. Seventy percent of our ad-supported members are between the ages of 18 and 49." He concluded by saying that: "The signals are promising: engagement on our ads plan is similar to our comparable non-ads plans. That's critical because it all starts and ends with consumers."
Peter Naylor, Vice President, Global Advertising Sales, announced new product and measurement solutions for Netflix's ad-supported plan, including the ability for brands "to connect with our audiences during some of the most watched and most relevant cultural moments of the year." This includes two new sponsorship opportunities to give brands "the opportunity to be within the top streaming content anywhere."
Sponsorship: Upfront partners will now be able to:
Sponsor the presentation of some of our most popular series on Netflix at launch. These opportunities will be available first in the US, with other countries to follow; and
Align themselves with meaningful collections on Netflix by featuring their campaigns within local holidays (e.g. Valentine's Day) and key brand moments (e.g. Sustainability Stories).
In addition, brands will be able to run sponsorships at the start of an episode, showcasing their brand before an episode even begins.
Top 10: Thanks to the recent launch of Top 10, brands can become part of the cultural zeitgeist by aligning themselves with Netflix's biggest hits.
Top 10 guarantees brand placement within Netflix's most popular shows and films, as part of our daily country Top 10 series and the Top 10 film collections on our service.
Nielsen ONE Launch: Starting in Q4, brands in the US will be able to use Nielsen DAR (Digital Ad Ratings), which offers deduplicated audience measurement metrics for campaigns running on the Netflix ad-supported plan.
This tool will enable advertisers to quantify the unique reach of their campaign and deepen their understanding of Netflix's audience, including by age and gender.
EDO, Inc. Engagement Metrics: We recently secured a partnership with EDO, Inc. - a leading TV outcomes measurement platform used to measure the immediate impact of ads across linear and streaming. EDO, Inc. found that:
Netflix outperforms the streaming and linear averages when it comes to driving engagement.
Viewers are over four times more likely to engage with an ad on Netflix, compared to other streamers, and over four and a half times more likely than linear TV.
The Netflix Difference
Closing the Upfront, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO said: "Now you've heard a lot from us today, and I think it all boils down to one thing: Netflix is a little bit different. In the past - when consumers had very little choice of where to watch - it didn't matter so much which network a show or film landed on. They were all very similar. Today, we believe that having a title land on Netflix makes all the difference in the world". This is because:
"Netflix shows and movies are generating global audiences that are many times bigger than our closest competitors"; and
"The special relationship that fans have with Netflix programming is shaping culture in powerful and unexpected ways."
Just as Netflix revolutionized streaming with House of Cards, Sarandos promised for "similar breakthroughs in advertising" that "can be just as impactful." "We have a long way to go to build scale in advertising," but Sarandos welcomed the challenge and the creativity from advertisers for "a better future for ad-supported streaming" and the opportunity to "build something together."
Fall 2023 Series Slate Highlights:
Big Mouth: Season 7 - Emmy award winning adult animated comedy series
The Crown: Season 6 - The series finale of this Emmy award winning drama
Sex Education: Season 4 - BAFTA and International Emmy award winning comedy series
Love Is Blind: Season 5 - Emmy nominated reality series
Selling Sunset: Season 7 - Emmy nominated reality series
Selling the OC: Season 2 - Reality series
Top Boy: Season 3 - BAFTA award winning drama series
Virgin River: Season 5 - Romantic drama series
New Prestige Dramas
All the Light We Cannot See - Directed by Shawn Levy, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
Blue Eye Samurai - Animated action series from Michael Green and Amber Noizumi
The Fall of the House of Usher - Based on multiple works from Edgar Allan Poe
Griselda - Starring and executive produced by Sofia Vergara
New Comedy Series
Exploding Kittens - Adult animated series based on the popular card game
Obliterated - High octane action-comedy from the creators of Cobra Kai
Neon - Reggaeton comedy from Shea Serrano
The Vince Staples Show - Starring the critically acclaimed artist, actor and creator
New Unscripted Competitions
Surviving Paradise - Social experiment and survival competition
Squid Game: The Challenge - Featuring 456 real players competing for $4.56 million
New Premium Documentaries
David Beckham documentary series - Directed by Fisher Stevens and produced by John Battsek
Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul - Directed by R.J. Cutler
Life on Our Planet - From Silverback Films and Amblin Television, narrated by Morgan Freeman
Berlin - Spanish drama series from the universe and creators of La Casa de Papel
Lupin: Part 3 - French drama series
Elite: Season 7 - Spanish drama series
Sweet Home: Season 2 - Korean drama series
Gyeongseong Creature - Korean drama series
Select Upcoming Films
A Family Affair
Heart of Stone
Leave the World Behind
Love at First Sight
The Old Guard 2
The Perfect Find
They Cloned Tyrone
3 Body Problem
That 90's Show: Season 2
A Man in Full
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Bridgerton: Season 3
The Brothers Sun
Cobra Kai: Season 6
The Diplomat: Season 2
Emily In Paris: Season 4
Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 6
Full Swing: Season 2
Girls5Eva: Season 3
Mo: Season 2
Monster: Season 2
The Night Agent: Season 2
Outer Banks: Season 4
The Recruit: Season 2
The Umbrella Academy: Season 4
By the Numbers:
Since early this year, Netflix's ads member base has more than doubled.
Just six months in, Netflix's ad-supported plan has nearly 5M monthly active users globally.
On average, more than a quarter of Netflix sign ups now choose the ads plan in countries where it's available.
Nearly 80% of ad-supported member's viewing happens through a TV.
More than 70% of Netflix ads plan members are aged 18 to 49.
The global median age of Netflix's ad-supported member is 34.
According to EDO, Inc. Netflix ad-supported viewers are more than:
4x+ as likely to engage with an ad on Netflix than other streaming services; and
4.5x+ as likely to engage with an ad on Netflix than linear TV.
According to Nielsen, Netflix's reach:
At two or more hours is higher than almost all other competitor's reach at a one-minute threshold.
At a two-hour threshold, Netflix retains 80% of total reach of ad-supported members.
In 2022 Netflix viewing across Nielsen's Top 10 most watched lists was three times greater than our competitors combined - and five times greater than our nearest competitor.
Last year, per Nielsen's Top Streaming Originals list - every one of the top 10 most watched original TV shows and 4 of the top 10 movies on streaming in the US were on Netflix.
This year alone, according to Nielsen, Netflix has had the number one original TV show on streaming in the US for 15 out of 16 weeks - and the number one movie for 14 weeks.