It’s finally happening. After months of speculation and hints by the company, streaming giant Netflix will join Hulu, Peacock, Paramount Plus, and other content providers by offering an ad-supported subscription tier.
Just about everybody on the planet expected this move, but there was a surprise in the announcement. Netflix is handing off many of the tech-heavy aspects of this service to computing giant Microsoft.
Wait, Microsoft? The company is acting as the streamer's "technology and sales partner," leveraging its marketing prowess to connect with would-be advertisers and its technology platform to implement the ads.
Netflix says it chose Microsoft for a number of reasons, including the company's focus on privacy protections for users.
"Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering," wrote Netflix COO Greg Peters. "More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side."
Both companies remain quiet regarding pricing and availability, but Netflix has stated that the ad-supported plan will not replace any pre-existing subscription plans, such as its ads-free basic, standard, and premium plans.
Also, it might be a while before the tier becomes available for consumers, as COO Peters says the technology is in its "very early days," and they have many hurdles to work through.
This is not the first time the two giants have teamed up. The original Netflix Watch Instantly feature, back in 2007, was powered by Microsoft's Silverlight, and the Xbox 360 was the first gaming console to receive an HD Netflix streaming app.