Netflix: Are you still watching?

04 Nov, 2022

It's all change at Netflix - from a crack down on sharing accounts, to this week's launch of of advertising on the platform. In his latest column for MAD//Insight, Ben Phillips, MAD//Fest's digital advertising consultant, asks whether these big changes will be a turn off.

Like all Netflix Primary Account Holders, I recently received an email announcing the new Profile Transfer feature. Simply put, this feature allows people using your account to transfer their viewing history etc to their own accounts.  Netflix has made no secret of its plans to stop account sharing. 

This 'feature' had prompted many of us to sit down with those whose children have flown the nest, ex-housemates, or that distant cousin you met that Christmas who took advantage of your good nature, but you haven’t had the heart to simply cut off, to have 'that discussion' that it’s finally time to become Netflix independent!

This transition is made all the smoother as Netflix provides a variety of options for the newly exposed, downsizers or cost cutters to choose from.

The Basic with Ads package launched yesterday in the UK at a cost of £4.99 a month. (This is cheaper than the proposed Twitter Blue Tick membership fee).          

Splitting accounts provides a variety of benefits to the UK’s #1 Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) platform e.g., additional revenues regardless of which plan is adopted and for its advertisers, based on this influx of new audience data and engagement across its new inventory.

The CTV frontier is highly competitive place, none more so than in the SVOD highlands. The wide variety of packages available from Apple+TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ etc etc reflects a more cost-conscious, subscription fatigued consumer, who will now evaluate their commitment based on factors outside of simply stellar content. This presents an opportunity for advertisers to drive real innovation and creativity like never before.

Having read several articles that have had a rather negative slant on Netflix, from the launch of its ad supported packages to rumours of high entry costs for advertisers.  I believe that we should all be excited to see what insight and outcomes this channel can generate.

Putting an emphasis on its measurement partnerships such as IAS, goes a long way to showing Netflix commitment to its advertisers.  IAS are bringing a whole new set of viewability, invalid traffic (IVT) tools to measure media quality and give brands the confidence that they need to invest in any emerging channel. 

By signing up to BARB we start to see the combination of trusted measurement tools and standards more recently associated with that of Linear TV.  Hands up who’s looking forward to seeing the first report on how much of the Linear TV Market the new kids are stealing?

Today our industry is challenged with, Regulatory and Technological changes, shifting consumer confidence and behaviour.  The old rules simply do not apply anymore, to become successful a business needs to become an Agent of Change, an environment that Netflix tends to thrive within.

From a DVD rental service founded in 1997, off the back of its founders receiving late return video fines, to its gift to the masses in the form of its streaming service in 2007, Netflix has demonstrated how it can not only adapt to, but direct global consumer behaviour.

Netflix changed the way we all view content, enabling us to turn on the video fire hose, creating a whole new transitive verb in the process.  In 2015, Collins English Dictionary hailed “Binge-watch” its Word of the Year

I believe that “fortune favours the brave” benefits the early settlers. In terms of insight and experience, it will accelerate their understanding of this complex new audience and how they fit into your communications strategy for the future.

Grab your popcorn and settle in!

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