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Exclusive: Netflix Closes Its First Upfront Season



Netflix is officially crossing the upfront finish line for the first time.

Adweek has exclusively learned the company has closed its first upfront and doubled its monthly active users globally to more than 10 million ad tier users. In May, the company announced its ad tier had nearly 5 million global monthly active users.

For Netflix’s first year of upfront negotiations, the company secured deals with all major advertising holding companies, as well as multiple independent agencies, with all deals coming at “top-of-market pricing in the streaming industry,” according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The source noted the company “took share from traditional TV broadcasters as well as digital video platforms.”

Overall, Netflix closed the upfront market “in line with expectations,” seeing investment from all key categories, including auto, CPG and retail. And following Netflix’s announcement of new title and moment sponsorships, the company has filled nearly all inventory for 2023-2024.

Additionally, the company’s ad-supported plan membership has now doubled since Q1, with the offering already having a total ARM (average revenue per member) greater than its standard plan through its subscriptions and ads.

Netflix joins NBCUniversal, Fox, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney in closing upfront talks. The CW announced it’s winding down negotiations as well.

The streaming giant made an upfront splash earlier this year, announcing it would present in Paramount’s vacated Wednesday upfront week slot. The company made waves again when it chose to go virtual for its presentation amid ongoing disruptions from the Writers Guild of America strike.

Following the presentation, Peter Naylor, vp worldwide ad sales at Netflix, talked to Adweek about the company’s last-minute shift, saying much of the presentation translated seamlessly.

“We just adjusted a bit in light of the context of how we’re presenting it, but, by and large, the message and everything were the same,” Naylor said. “Fortunately, the production was super tight and beautiful with all of our content, so it seemed to work out.”

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