United States – Popular streaming platform Netflix has announced that they will be launching their in-house adtech platform by 2025, a move that will continue supporting the platform’s ad-supported plan.

For Netflix, this will give advertisers new ways to buy, new insights to leverage, and new ways to measure impact.

Amy Reinhard, president of advertising at Netflix, said, “Bringing our ad tech in-house will allow us to power the ads plan with the same level of excellence that’s made Netflix the leader in streaming technology today.”

Moreover, Netflix will also expand its buying capabilities to include The Trade Desk, Google’s Display & Video 360, and Magnite who will join Microsoft as the main programmatic partners for advertisers.

“We’re being incredibly strategic about how we present ads because we want our members to have a phenomenal experience. We conduct deep consumer research to make sure we stay ahead of the competition, bringing opportunities that are better for members and better for brands,” Reinhard added.

The announcement was made during Netflix’s Upfront presentation, where Reinhard walked advertisers through the continued growth and momentum of Netflix’s ad-supported plan, which now has 40 million global monthly active users — up from 5 million a year ago. She also stated that over 40% of all signups in the ads countries now come from the ads plan.

It is worth noting that 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported members watch for more than 10 hours a month — which is 15 percentage points higher than the nearest competitor, according to Nielsen. Netflix members also pay even more attention three hours into watching than they do when they first start. With this, they’re around twice as likely to respond to an ad compared to other streaming services and linear TV.

Bela Bajaria, chief content officer at Netflix, explained, “Our audiences are highly engaged — and by engaged I mean that they are choosing to spend their time watching Netflix. That’s important because engagement is the key to success in streaming. When people watch our shows and movies, they get more value from Netflix, they stick around longer, and they’re more likely to recommend us to their friends. And this matters to all of you because you want to be where the audiences are, too.” 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (Content Forum) has rolled out its inaugural supplementary guideline, ‘The OCC Guidelines’ on updated best practices for online curated content service providers.

Developed through extensive collaboration among local and international industry leaders, the pioneer initiative is set to function as a self-regulation tool for online curated content (OCC) platforms.

The guidelines aim to emphasise and underscore Content Forum’s dedication to nurturing a dynamic creative content environment while ensuring compliance with Malaysian laws and regulations.

Content Forum’s ‘The OCC Guidelines’ will encompass national and public interest, racial and religious sensitivities, as well as improved accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

Other than this, the guidelines will also cover key points such as content classifications allowing for informed viewing choices, safety features and advisory, consideration of underage viewers on content promotional materials, news contents that cover diverse perspectives and presentations, more accessible consumer feedback mechanisms, and open dialogues with relevant stakeholders.

The formation of the OCC Guidelines highlights how self-regulation can serve to elevate the industry further.

Mediha Mahmood, chief executive officer of the Content Forum, explained, “This guideline is designed as a supportive tool for both local and international service providers, enabling them to self-assess their programming quality and streamline compliance with Malaysian content standards. In line with our dedication to promoting self-regulation, we expect that these recommendations and best practices will further our ongoing mission to foster a creative, forward-thinking, and inclusive content industry.”

Also commenting on the guidelines, Euan Smith, group chief executive officer at ASTRO, said, “The dedication of the Content Forum and the Working Group underscores the power of industry cooperation in crafting meaningful guidelines.”

Echoing this sentiment, Zuraidah Mohd Yatim, general manager of regulatory affairs and intellectual property at Media Prima, shared, “The success of this collaborative policy-making process reflects the strength of industry unity in shaping responsible content practices.”

Also part of the collaborative effort, Clare Bloomfield, chief policy officer at the Asia Video Industry Association, commented, “AVIA has been a strong proponent of self-governance for online-curated content. We are honoured to have been a part of Content Forum’s collaborative effort to deliver this OCC approach for Malaysia.”

Meanwhile, Ruben Hattari, director of public policy for Southeast Asia at Netflix, also shared, “The collective effort behind this monumental task is a true reflection of Malaysia’s progressive mindset and is worthy to be emulated by other policymakers in the region.”

Singapore – With over one in three consumers subscribed to it, Netflix has emerged as the most popular streaming service in Singapore. In this latest data, market research company YouGov also indicated that the same platform encompasses the largest proportion of contented customers garnering an 83% average satisfaction rating.

Among the platforms, Disney+ is the next most popular, with one in six (17%) subscribers. Singtel TV and StarHub TV are also tied at the same level, with around one in ten consumers indicating they are subscribers. Amazon Prime Video, Viu and Apple TV+, on the other hand, were noted to have less than one in ten consumers subscribed.

Furthermore, consumer satisfaction is relatively higher, as Disney+ and Amazon Prime ranked the second highest satisfaction rates at 74% and 73%, respectively.  Viu’s rating also remains favourable with over two in three subscribers expressing their satisfaction. This percentage is higher than satisfaction with Apple TV+ (61%) and SingTel TV (60%) services, with around three-fifths of the way there. Over half of StarHub TV (56%) subscribers also said they are satisfied customers.

The data also revealed the factors affecting consumers’ willingness to pay for streaming or TV subscriptions. More than one-quarter cited these factors as not being TV watchers (28%) and finding the costs of streaming subscriptions too high (27%). Other common reasons include having difficulty finding what they want to watch (13%), poor viewing quality or experience (7%), and poor or no internet connection (6%).

Seoul, South Korea – Netflix and SK Broadband have entered into a new strategic partnership, aimed at providing better entertainment experiences to their customers. Following this, both companies have also withdrawn their previous lawsuits with one another, following SK Broadband’s case filed against Netflix back then whether content providers that generate large volumes of traffic should pay for network usage.

In a new statement, SK Telecom and SK Broadband aim to help customers enjoy Netflix shows and films on mobile devices and IPTV (B tv) with easier access and payment options. SK Telecom and SK Broadband will offer various price plans and products, including bundled packages.

Moreover, the two companies also plan to introduce services combined with Netflix’s ad-supported price plan to allow more customers to enjoy Netflix.

In addition to the partnership, SK Telecom and SK Broadband will explore opportunities with Netflix to leverage AI technologies developed by SK Telecom and SK Broadband, such as conversational UX and personalised recommendation technologies, to create better entertainment experiences for customers.

Choi Hwanseok, vice president of corporate strategy at SK Broadband, stated, “This strategic partnership with Netflix originates from the philosophy of SK Telecom and SK Broadband, where customer value is prioritized, and comes as part of our efforts to provide customers with an enhanced media service environment. We will continue to evolve into an AI company and work together with various players at home and abroad.”

Meanwhile, Tony Zameczkowski, vice president of APAC partnerships at Netflix, commented, “The partnership with SK Telecom, a leader in Korea’s telecommunication and innovative technology industries, holds special significance as it enables Netflix to enhance entertainment experiences for a broader Korean audience. Netflix is committed to creating and delivering the best stories to members in Korea and audiences worldwide, and we have high expectations for the journey ahead as partners serving our customers with SK Telecom and SK Broadband.”

SK Broadband previously filed a case against Netflix back in 2020 when the broadband company said that Netflix should be charged for excess network usasge following the surge of viewership from the popular South Korean series “Squid Game”. Netflix also fired right back at SK Broadband back then, saying that it has no obligation to pay network usage fees.

Seoul, South Korea – Popular streaming platform Netflix has announced that it has pledged US$2.5b in investment to South Korea’s entertainment scene, including the creation of films, series, and other unscripted shows for the next four years.

The announcement was made following a meeting with Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos with South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol following the latter’s ongoing state trip in the United States.

According to Sarandos, said investment is twice the company had previously pledged in the Korean market since they started service in Korea in 2016.

“We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories. We were also inspired by the President’s love and strong support for the Korean entertainment industry and fueling the Korean wave,” he said.

Sarandos also added that with the partnership, they will continue to grow with the local industry while sharing the joy of entertainment with Korean storytellers to their fans around the world.

“I have no doubt our investment will strengthen our long-term partnership with Korea and Korea’s creative ecosystem. We are deepening our partnership with the Korean creative industry, which has produced global hits such as ‘Squid Game’, ‘The Glory’, and ‘Physical:100’,” he concluded.

Bangkok, Thailand In partnership with Wunderman Thompson and Netflix, one of the top sauce and canned food companies in Thailand, Roza, has co-created a film-to-kitchen sauce inspired by Netflix’s biggest Thai film called ‘Hunger’. The Roza Chef@Home special sauce was derived from the infamous ‘Cry Baby’ noodles featured in the film. 

‘Hunger’ tells the story of a young street-food cook named Aoy who runs her family’s battered stir-fried noodles restaurant. One day, she receives an invitation to join Team Hunger, Thailand’s No.1 luxury chef’s table team led by a famous chef. 

The movie gained epic attention on social media and topped Netflix’s trending movie lists in Thailand and in the world overnight.

“Roza Chef@Home Hunger sauce is a co-creation with Netflix to provide cooking convenience to consumers. With just one bottle of Roza Chef@Home, everybody can be a chef at home as we believe that gathering for mealtimes is the most valuable time for families,” said Khun Suwit Wangpattanamongkol, marketing director of Hi-Q Food Product Co Ltd.

Wangpattanamongkol added, “Our purpose at Roza is to be the food solutions company who fulfills the happiness of families. Having the opportunity to work with Netflix in this Hunger movie has been an enriching brand collaboration with this fresh and exciting concept. The output is a powerful one.”

Park Wannasiri, chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson Thailand also said, “This collaboration took us a year to make happen, starting with R&D, to production line and distribution. From the entertainment world to your kitchen, Roza Chef@Home Hunger sauce is the next level of brand experience where anyone can satisfy their Hunger from screen to table in five minutes.”

Paris, France Apparel and fashion brand Lacoste has teamed up with streaming service giant Netflix to release a new collection celebrating some of the extraordinary universes of the most beloved shows on the platform, including ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Bridgerton’, ‘Lupin’, ‘Money Heist’, ‘The Witcher’, ‘Sex Education’, ‘Shadow and Bone’ and ‘Elite’.

Starting April 12, the iconic Lacoste clothing — from polos and sweatshirts to tracksuits — has been reimagined from the ‘Upside Down’ of ‘Stranger Things to ‘Las Encinas’ high school of ‘Elite’, with the Lacoste crocodile dawning the costumes from these fan-favourite Netflix shows.

“We think products can be a powerful medium for storytelling and partnering with Lacoste presents a unique opportunity to blend the worlds of fashion and entertainment. This collection is a compelling and creative way for fans to express their love for our stories and characters,” said Josh Simon, VP of consumer products at Netflix

Catherine Spindler, Lacoste’s deputy CEO also commented, “We are delighted with this collaboration which has resulted in a unique encounter between our two worlds and two global references of creativity and innovation, both with an unparalleled power to bring together communities from all walks of life. The collection born from our collaboration is the embodiment of this powerful encounter, of our respective codes, influences and know-how.” 

As part of the collaboration, videos were also created featuring the Lacoste crocodile with the codes of the various Netflix shows.

Recently, Netflix has also tapped virtual reality (VR) experience company Sandbox VR to create a VR experience based on its popular South Korean drama series ‘Squid Game’.

Hong Kong – Netflix has tapped virtual reality (VR) experience company Sandbox VR to create a VR experience based on the popular South Korean drama series ‘Squid Game’, which has been the platform’s most popular series to date. It is set for release in the latter part of 2023.

In the VR experience, players are transported to iconic ‘Squid Game’ locations, where they become contestants in a variety of pulse-pounding challenges inspired by the Netflix series and compete against each other to be the last one standing. 

After each game session, players will receive personalised highlight videos capturing their in-game reactions and recapping how their very own ‘Squid Game’ story unfolded.

Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR, said, “Our mission is to bring people closer together through world-class immersive experiences. What could be a more perfect fit than Squid Game, the most widely shared and discussed television series of the past years. It’s an amazing opportunity to partner with Netflix to provide these fans the chance to transport themselves into the world of the show.”

Sandbox VR currently boasts six proprietary experiences based on both exclusive licensing of well-loved Hollywood properties as well as their own unforgettable intellectual property. All Sandbox VR experiences are developed by an in-house AAA gaming studio led by game industry veterans and are specifically designed for groups to play as social experiences. 

Netflix has been doing several campaigns and outdoor activations to promote some of its series including Trese, All of Us Are Dead, Money Heist: Korea, Red Notice, amongst others.

Singapore – With just a few days before the Lunar New Year celebrations, streaming platform Netflix goes an understated but no less unconventional route of developing a bespoke piece of paper artwork to commemorate the festivity. The artwork, which was done together with global creative company Mash and Malaysian artist Eten Teo, aims to highlight the value of ‘togetherness’.

Framed with the symbolic elements fish, coins, and peonies, which mean abundance, wealth, and prosperity, respectively; the artwork by Teo showcases interactions of the cross-generational family when celebrating the Lunar New Year, a tradition that is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Asian communities.

Rich Akers, Mash Director and Project Lead of Creative Services in Asia, said, “We’re always excited to work with Netflix. Building a virtual creative studio and partnering with an incredible artist, like Eten to deliver on such an ambitious vision, is not a project you get to do every day.” 

In order for the artwork to be an authentic representation of the Asian festivity, Mash curated a Virtual Creative Studio that brought together seven creatives from Mash’s global network. Each one dug deep into their experiences in order to uncover that one key theme that spoke to the true essence of the celebration—the tumultuous and chaotic beauty of cross-generational families over the most important holiday of the Asia calendar. 

The papercut piece is the first physical artwork that is digitised and featured on a local moment on Netflix, a specially-curated collection of titles that celebrates seasonal moments or social events that are important to local audiences.

The artwork will be live on the Netflix screens of viewers across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the duration of the holiday. 

Singapore – Popular streaming platform Netflix is finally rolling out its ad-supported plan on November 3 this year, starting off with a price of US$6.99 a month, three dollars less than the typical US$9.99 a month subscription plan. 

The ad-supported plan will first roll out in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Through the new plan, users will be presented with a much smaller library of movies and series, and will have on average 4-5 minutes of ads per hour, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds each. Users will not be able to download their favourite shows for offline viewing.

In order to roll out their ad-supported plan, Netflix has partnered with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to verify the viewability and traffic validity of their ads starting in Q1 2023. Ads can be specifically targeted by the geographical location of the viewer and the genre they are watching.

Mark Zagorski, CEO, DoubleVerify, said, “Over the past decade, the team at Netflix has done a tremendous job building one of the most popular streaming services in the world. As we continue to expand our coverage across premium video and CTV environments, DV is thrilled to extend our third-party verification solutions across their platform, ensuring campaigns meet key quality criteria while maximizing performance and outcomes for advertisers”.

Meanwhile, Lisa Utzschneider, CEO at IAS, commented, “We are excited to partner with Netflix as they introduce their much-anticipated ad-supported tier that will dramatically increase the global supply of CTV advertising inventory. IAS provides marketers with the tools necessary to monitor the quality of their media buys as they expand their CTV inventory. We look forward to offering essential coverage to brands and the ability to purchase ads on the Netflix platform with confidence.”

It should be recalled that Netflix tapped Microsoft as its adtech partner following their interest to launch an ad-supported plan.

“While it’s still very early days, we’re pleased with the interest from both consumers and the advertising community — and couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead. As we learn from and improve the experience, we expect to launch in more countries over time,” Netflix said in a statement.

Netflix’s launch of the ad-supported plan comes after six months of their interest to launch said offering. The platform has been losing performance this year, resulting in a massive layoff and slow growth.