NBCUniversal, Google emerge as top contenders to help Netflix create ad-supported tier, WSJ reports

The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCUniversal and Google have emerged as top contenders to work with Netflix to help the company build an ad-supported tier on its streaming service.

According to people familiar with the matter, Netflix, which is still in the early stages of developing a monetization strategy by selling ads, has explored a range of tie-ups in recent weeks.

The people familiar with the matter said that a partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal would likely be exclusive. Comcast’s video ad unit, FreeWheel, would supply technology to help serve up ads, while NBCUniversal’s ad-sales team would help sell ads in the U.S. and Europe, the people said.

The sources also said that a partnership with NBCUniversal would likely involve revenue-sharing, and one issue might be whether Netflix would be guaranteed a certain amount of revenue. 

People close to the discussions said Google brings its own ad serving technology and video experience through YouTube and its online channel package YouTube TV to the table. Google has already a commercial relationship with Netflix, a customer of its ad buying tools, they said. It is likely Google would also pursue an exclusive arrangement, the WSJ reported. 

“We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported option and no decisions have been made,” a Netflix representative said.

Written by Sophie Blake


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