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Advertising on Netflix and Other Streaming Platforms with Programmatic

Is television dying? It depends.

If we understand television as the times when broadcasters decided what programs to air and at what time, then yes, television has died. However, we believe it is more enriching to say that television has transformed or, better yet, connected.

Thanks to Connected TV, today, the consumer has more control over the content than ever before: they can decide what to watch, when to start viewing, when to pause, and when to stop watching.

This renewal of how we consume television content was gradual and had Netflix as its main player, a subscription streaming service that allows its members to watch series and movies on an internet-connected device.

In this Performance Trend, we will focus a lot on Netflix’s advertising platform, but it is important to highlight that many of the aspects we will develop share common points with other streaming platforms that also have significant weight in the Connected TV advertising market:

  • Pluto TV
  • Roku
  • Samsung TV
  • Hulu
  • Apple

These are all technologies that, like Netflix Ads, can be accessed through programmatic technologies.

Historically, Netflix had more than one plan depending on the image quality and the number of users who wanted to associate with an account, but in November 2022, it launched another type of subscription that includes ads in exchange for a reduction in the price paid by the user.

This plan is a great opportunity for viewers and advertisers. For viewers, because it allows them to save money on their subscriptions; and for advertisers, because they have a new medium to reach a large audience, which initially always has a credit card (which is no small detail if we do digital advertising for apps with monetization goals).

 

 

The countries where you can advertise on Netflix are Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Spain, United States, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

How does Netflix Ads work?

First of all, we should highlight that the only way to access Netflix Ads is through programmatic advertising platforms. In particular, the Microsoft Invest (formerly Xandr) platform is the only one where we can access the Netflix Ads inventory, so you will need a certified team in this technology with the proper access and permissions.

Additionally, not all Microsoft Invest accounts are enabled to advertise on Netflix, so you must work with a verified advertiser who has an account with special permission in Microsoft Invest for this.

If you are reading this article and want to advertise on Netflix, you can learn about Boomit’s services as a company authorized by Netflix by accessing this landing page and requesting to be contacted.

What are the targeting possibilities that Netflix advertising allows?

Netflix’s targeting is partially based on user attributes such as age and gender. It also allows for geolocated targeting to certain countries or cities.

Additionally, the intelligent targeting of the streaming platform allows differentiating the audience according to their content consumption habits, making a distinction between 10 genres, including comedy, action, romance, and anime. This is very interesting for brands that want to associate their content only with certain entertainment verticals, avoiding series or movies that do not fit the style they want to communicate.

Furthermore, it is possible to buy a spot in Netflix’s TOP 10, that is, in the ten most-watched movies and series at a given time.

Finally, the platform also allows ensuring that your ad is the first to be seen. This first impression targeting seeks to generate a greater impact and higher recall levels as the user reduces their receptivity as they are exposed to more ads.

Within its current model, Netflix ads only pursue one KPI, impressions, as there is still no third-party targeting or first-party retargeting. Despite this limitation, there are future plans for deeper ad targeting that are being developed.

It is important to highlight that these impressions are of high value since Netflix content is not “skippable,” meaning the user must watch it to advance to their chosen series or movie.

How do the ads look on the platform?

A distinctive feature of Netflix advertising is its unique format and how it is presented to the viewer. At the beginning of any advertising block on the platform, users will notice a discreet yet clear indicator in the upper right corner of their screen. This indicator serves to inform viewers of the exact number of ads included in that specific block. This transparency allows users to adjust their expectations and prepare for the duration of the interruption before returning to their chosen content.

In addition to the duration and number of ads, Netflix offers two distinct ad formats: Pre-roll and Mid-roll.

Pre-roll ads are an effective option, shown just before the user begins watching the chosen content. This placement captures the viewer’s full attention before they dive into their show or movie. Mid-roll ads appear during a break in the content, similar to traditional TV commercial breaks, providing a natural pause in the narrative and offering advertisers an attention window during the viewing experience.

Let’s talk about time: on average, Netflix has calibrated its ad blocks to ensure an optimal balance between content and advertising. Currently, viewers can expect approximately 4 minutes of ads per hour of entertainment content. This is very good, as if we compare exposure to ads on open TV, we can get up to 7 times more exposure time than compared to Netflix.

Ad formats on Netflix

Netflix ad formats have evolved over time. Originally, ads were only available in two standard durations: short and concise 15-second ads, ideal for direct and powerful messages, and longer 30-second ads, perfect for more immersive narratives or more complete product details.

However, recognizing the need for greater flexibility and adaptability in advertising strategies, Netflix has recently expanded its offering. Now, advertisers can choose from a more diverse range of durations, including compact 10-second slots, ideal for quick and memorable impacts, 20-second intermediate segments, and 60-second extensive slots, offering a wide window for creative and immersive narratives.

A crucial aspect of ads on Netflix is their unskippable nature. Unlike other streaming platforms or digital video services, Netflix ads cannot be skipped or fast-forwarded. This feature ensures that every ad is viewed in its entirety, providing advertisers with the assurance that their message will be delivered without interruptions or cuts.

This guarantee of complete viewing is not only beneficial for advertisers in terms of ensuring brand exposure, but also offers a unique opportunity for advertising creativity, encouraging brands to develop content that is captivating and interesting to hold the viewer’s attention for the entire duration of the ad.

When should I include Netflix Ads in my digital advertising strategy?

At this moment, Netflix is a platform with low advertising saturation and a place where your audience will therefore be more receptive to receiving your advertising message. Due to the high penetration of this platform in the global market, you will have a very wide potential audience reach.

Netflix Ads represents a great opportunity to diversify an advertising strategy, especially in cases where brands seek to:

Generate Brand Awareness Complement with investment in an alternative space to Google, Meta, or TikTok.

Beyond the size of the audience, there are also two points to highlight: firstly, it is a highly engaged audience during the viewing experience, which presupposes greater attention to the ads; secondly, knowing that viewers have a credit card to pay for the streaming platform subscription, we are already making significant segmentation.

However, this is not the only segmentation we can do using Netflix Ads, as the platform employs what is known as “smart segmentation,” which is based on the interactions and interests users have on the platform. This means that your ads will be seen in greater proportion by people who are interested in what you offer.

 

 

How to access advertising on Netflix and other streaming platforms?

The only way to access this advertising channel is through programmatic.

Accessing advertising on platforms like Netflix, Pluto TV, Samsung TV, Roku, etc., requires a special approach, although it follows the fundamental principles of any digital advertising campaign. Below, we will see the step-by-step process, specifically focused on campaigns on streaming platforms:

Initial briefing: It all starts with a detailed briefing. Here, the campaign objectives are defined, the key message, and the target audience is identified. This step is crucial to align the advertising strategy with the brand’s goals. Media plan: After the briefing, a media plan is developed. This plan should consider the peculiarities of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, where programmatic advertising plays a fundamental role. The appropriate platforms are chosen based on the audience and campaign objectives. Each platform has its own conditions regarding format, duration, purchase model, and inventory quality. Audience definition: Audiences can be defined based on viewing interests, demographics, behavior on the platform, and other relevant criteria. Format selection: Platforms like Netflix offer various advertising formats, including pre-roll and mid-roll. The choice of format depends on the desired impact and the nature of the advertising content. On other platforms like Pluto TV or Samsung TV, we have less intrusive and skippable formats for the viewer. Investment establishment: The campaign budget is determined. On streaming platforms, this may include purchasing slots in the TOP 10 or securing the first impression, which can raise the total cost. Content production: The production of advertising content must align with the platform’s technical specifications and be attractive enough to capture the viewer’s attention in a competitive environment. Partnering with an enabled partner: To access advertising on Netflix, it is essential to partner with an enabled partner like Boomit. These partners have exclusive access to programmatic networks and can handle technical and compliance aspects that are critical for the campaign launch. Campaign implementation and launch: Once everything is ready, the campaign is implemented and launched through the chosen platform. This requires careful coordination to ensure that all campaign elements are synchronized and executed as planned. Monitoring and optimization: After the launch, it is crucial to monitor the campaign’s performance in real-time, making adjustments and optimizations as necessary to maximize RoAS and meet the established objectives.

Is it possible to measure the results?

It is known that one of the pillars of performance marketing is the ability to measure results and optimize based on them. In the case of advertising on Netflix, we have measurement options available:

The first possibility is to use the audience tracking mechanisms of the platform itself. These mechanisms allow advertisers to access basic data on the reach and frequency of their ads, as well as viewer demographics and engagement levels. The second option is to employ external measurement tools. In this context, we can use measurement solutions such as Comscore, Nielsen, or other third-party tools. These tools offer a more comprehensive view of campaign performance, including detailed information on audience behavior, conversion tracking, and return on advertising investment (RoAS).

However, we should note that, at present, ad targeting on Netflix is limited, and there is no third-party retargeting or first-party retargeting. Despite this, the measurement and targeting capabilities will improve as the platform evolves.

Summary

In summary, advertising on Netflix presents a promising opportunity for brands to reach a highly engaged and receptive audience. While the platform is currently in its early stages of advertising, there are significant advantages in terms of viewer attention and segmentation.

The unique nature of non-skippable ads and the diverse range of formats provide an ideal environment for creative and impactful messages. As Netflix’s advertising platform continues to develop, we can expect improvements in targeting and measurement capabilities, further enhancing its appeal to advertisers.

We will closely monitor the evolution of this platform and continue to leverage its potential to drive successful advertising campaigns for our clients.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When do Netflix ads appear?

Depending on the type of ad, it can appear before or during the viewing. Pre-roll ads are shown before, and mid-roll ads during.

How long are the ads?

There are five different durations: 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60 seconds.

How to subscribe to a plan with ads?

If you already have an account, you need to log in, go to “plan information,” and then select “change plan.”

Can the ads be skipped or fast-forwarded?

No, it is not possible. However, you can pause them.

How are the ads segmented?

Ads are segmented according to users’ preferences on Netflix, general location, and information provided to the platform.

What information does Netflix collect to generate a subscription with ads?

Basic demographic data is collected, specifically date of birth, gender, and content preferences.

Where is it available and how much does the subscription cost for the end user?

These are the countries where this plan is available and its monthly price:

Germany: €4.99

Australia: AU$ 6.99

Brazil: R$18.9

Canada: CAD 5.99

South Korea: KRW 5,500

Spain: €5.49

United States: USD 6.99

France: €5.99

Italy: €5.49

Japan: ¥790

Mexico: MXN 99

United Kingdom: £4.99

When will it be available in other countries?

There are no definitions on this matter yet.

Is it possible to sponsor a series, movie, or event?

Currently, this is only possible in the United States, although it is expected to be extended to other countries in 2024.

Gonza Pastorino

Gonza Pastorino

Director en Domus | CEO @ Boomit. Apasionado estratega de revenue growth de marketing digital. Más de 10 años de experiencia en manejo estratégico y consultorías de empresas multinacionales, y más de 12 años como director de proyectos tecnológicos de alta complejidad.

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