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Netflix might add free streaming ‘FAST’ channels to grow its ads business

Netflix reported its Q4 2022 financial results yesterday, topping 230 million global subscribers, up from 223.09 million, thanks to the addition of 7.7 million subs. During the earnings call, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company is “keeping an eye” on a free ad-supported TV (FAST) option, a move that many media companies are considering as more consumers shift to FAST services.

“We’re open to all these different models that are out there right now, but we’ve got a lot on our plate this year, both with the paid sharing and with our launch of advertising and continuing to this slate of content that we’re trying to drive to our members. So, we are keeping an eye on that segment for sure,” Sarandos said.

While a Netflix FAST channel offering probably won’t happen anytime soon, Sarandos isn’t dismissing the possibility that there’ll be one in the future. When and if Netflix goes through with a FAST option, the move will most likely boost its ad business significantly. According to nScreenMedia, the FAST industry will reach 216 million monthly active users in 2023, driving $4.1 billion in ad revenue.

Netflix is known to be slow to follow industry trends. It took many years for former co-CEO Reed Hastings, who just announced he would step down, even to consider launching a cheaper ad-supported plan. Hulu is the third-oldest streaming service next to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (formerly Amazon Unbox) and has offered an ad tier for over a decade.

Netflix is counting on its ad business to be a big source of income. Overall, it estimates $8.17 billion in revenue for Q1 2023.

Netflix reported its Q4 2022 financial results yesterday, topping 230 million global subscribers, up from 223.09 million, thanks to the addition of 7.7 million subs. During the earnings call, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company is “keeping an eye” on a free ad-supported TV (FAST) option, a move that many media companies are considering as more consumers shift to FAST services.

“We’re open to all these different models that are out there right now, but we’ve got a lot on our plate this year, both with the paid sharing and with our launch of advertising and continuing to this slate of content that we’re trying to drive to our members. So, we are keeping an eye on that segment for sure,” Sarandos said.

While a Netflix FAST channel offering probably won’t happen anytime soon, Sarandos isn’t dismissing the possibility that there’ll be one in the future. When and if Netflix goes through with a FAST option, the move will most likely boost its ad business significantly. According to nScreenMedia, the FAST industry will reach 216 million monthly active users in 2023, driving $4.1 billion in ad revenue.

Netflix is known to be slow to follow industry trends. It took many years for former co-CEO Reed Hastings, who just announced he would step down, even to consider launching a cheaper ad-supported plan. Hulu is the third-oldest streaming service next to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (formerly Amazon Unbox) and has offered an ad tier for over a decade.

Netflix is counting on its ad business to be a big source of income. Overall, it estimates $8.17 billion in revenue for Q1 2023. yahoo! news

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