Netflix To Go Ad-Supported? 'Never Say Never,' CFO Neumann Says

Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann
Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann (Image credit: Netflix)

While it doesn't appear as though Netflix will follow Disney Plus and the rest of the subscription streaming business into the hybrid advertising revenue future, it‘s notable whenever the top streaming company doesn't completely shut the door on the idea.

“Never say never,” said Netflix chief financial officer Spencer Neumann Tuesday, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom event in San Francisco. 

Neumann also noted, “It’s not like we have religion against advertising, to be clear,” before saying that Netflix has no current plans to mix advertising revenue into its business plan.

“We have a great model in the subscription business,” he said. “It scales globally.” 

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Neumann said Netflix is “still in the early days” of that model, with Netflix still accounting for less than 10% of viewing on TV sets and 1 billion broadband consumers outside China, a region Netflix doesn't operate in.

Neumann cited North America, Netflix’s most mature market, as a possible harbinger for how its business continues to evolve internationally. Despite its market share growth stagnating at around 60%, Netflix is profitable domestically, he said. And if international markets are projected based on this U.S. success, on a worldwide basis, that “very quickly gets us to a business with about a half-billion members,” he explained. 

Netflix ended 2021 with 222 million customers. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!