Yahoo Finance’s Allie Canal joins the Live show to discuss Netflix’s ad-tier rollout, what ads on streaming platforms could mean for consumers and advertisers, and the expectations for season 4, volume 2 of ‘Stranger Things’.
AKIKO FUJITA: Netflix has officially announced its ad tier option is in the works. But a new report is showing some possible kinks. Brian's here, too, yes.
BRIAN CHEUNG: I'm excited about this, yeah.
AKIKO FUJITA: Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal with the details. So we know that they've already been testing this in other countries. What can we expect here?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Right, so advertisers, brands, they're really excited about this, yet another way to reach consumers. But that paradox of choice is creating some of those kinks. And one in particular did stand out to me. "The Wall Street Journal" had an interesting report citing a study that showed many commercials are continuing to play on ad-supported streaming services, even after viewers turn off their TVs. So there seems to be a bit of a disconnect when you plug in your Roku to the television. And that's contributing to an estimated waste of more than $1 billion per year for brands. So that number really jumped out at me.
But I spoke to a few experts in this space who said this is really nothing to worry about. It's growing pains. When we think about the past, digital, linear TV, they all sort of went through their own process of trying to figure out measurement. With Netflix, we know they are potentially reportedly partnering with Google or NBC Universal to attempt to roll out this feature at the end of this year. Wall Street seems a bit lukewarm to it.
I've seen a range of opinions on this. Bank of America saying they need to really cautiously approach this because it's a costly endeavor. And they need to make sure they're not crowding the consumer experience. So I think that's the biggest thing, is being as flexible as possible. And that's a great thing about ads on streaming versus linear TV. TV is a lot more rigid. And with streaming, you have more opportunities to be a little more fluid. So we'll see what happens here.
BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, advertisers do love that, I'm sure. I want to stay on the theme of Netflix, but shift to the content side of things. "Stranger Things," Season 4, part 2.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Part 2.
BRIAN CHEUNG: Two final episodes, as I understand it.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Two final episodes totaling nearly four hours' worth of television. Now this season has been super successful for Netflix, breaking records left and right. The first seven episodes broke the record for Netflix's biggest ever premiere weekend. Season 4 has the highest viewership among all English language Netflix seasons, more than 930,000,000 hours viewed in its first 28 days. Wasn't able to eclipse "Squid Game," though. That nabbed 1.6 billion hours over that same time period. I'm very excited about this. I can't wait. Big "Stranger Things" fan, and I'm a fan of this season.
AKIKO FUJITA: OK, I will admit I stopped at Season 2. Not because it was bad. I just got distracted with other shows.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yes, and I thought last season wasn't that good, but this feels a bit more like Season 1.
AKIKO FUJITA: How old are they now?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: They're like 18, 19, 20. So it's getting a little unrealistic to think that they're 14-year-olds. But we'll see. We'll see. We have one more season to go after this one.
AKIKO FUJITA: And it's rare for Netflix, right? I mean, they've had shows that have had long runs, but the more recent trend has been after two seasons, a lot of these shows get canceled. This is one of those that has been really the signature franchise.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: It's a moneymaker, so why not keep making them?
AKIKO FUJITA: OK, Allie Canal, thank you.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Thank you.