Netflix Ad Reach is Tiny Compared to Local TV News, TVB Says

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All the buzz about Netflix getting into the ad business prompted the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB), which represents the local broadcast industry, to push back on behalf of traditional, linear TV.

A recent report indicated that Netflix was telling advertisers that its Basic With Ads tier now has about 600,000 monthly active users.

“Importantly, this metric refers to subscribers, not viewers and Netflix ad-supported users pale in comparison to local linear TV viewing audiences,” TVB CEO Steve Lanzano said. “The comparison is extremely meaningful for the advertising community and brands.”

Lanzano noted that on a typical evening in November (November 9, 2022, if you must know) in just the New York market, Nielsen reported that 1.6 million adults age 18 and older were reached by early newscasts on local broadcast TV stations between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. “Early news reach in the New York market was nearly triple the number of Netflix’s reported universe for its ad-supported tier,” he said.

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The TVB estimates that on the same night in November, Netflix’s top three programs, The Crown, Love Is Blind and Enola Holmes 2, delivered 5,040, 4,440 and 1,860 adult 18-plus ad viewers, respectively. 

The TVB also said that all the local newscasts that aired in New York from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. would outdeliver Netflix’s top three programs with ads. 

Even in market No. 42, Grand Rapids, Michigan, local news on the NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates would out-deliver Netflix’s top three programs, TVB said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.