Netflix taps Microsoft to be its partner for the upcoming ad-supported tier

An ad-supported tier for Netflix has been rumored for a bit now, but it only became official earlier this year when Netflix’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, confirmed the upcoming tier. That obviously led to some discussion regarding who Netflix would partner with, because it would be a huge deal for any advertising company to land Netflix. Turns out, it won’t be an advertising company after all.

An image showing a red Netflix Logo set agains an all-black background

On Wednesday, Netflix announced via a blog post that it is partnering with Microsoft for the upcoming ad-supported tier. Once the cheaper streaming option rolls out, Microsoft will be Netflix’s “global advertising technology and sales partner” moving forward.

Per today’s announcement:

Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.

And, beyond that, Netflix is saying this is all about consumer choice:

It’s very early days and we have much to work through. But our long term goal is clear. More choice for consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers. We’re excited to work with Microsoft as we bring this new service to life.

Unfortunately, we don’t know just when the new ad-supported tier will actually launch. However, previous rumors have suggested the new option will arrive before the end of this year. And with Microsoft on board to power the advertising, it certainly sounds like all the pieces are lining up for Netflix.

It will be interesting to see just how popular this ad-supported tier is once it arrives.