Netflix wants to launch an ad-supported tier for its streaming service, and it just took a big step toward that goal. It has poached two ad execs who previously worked for Snapchat: One of them is Peter Naylor (pictured above), and the other is Jeremi Gorman, to whom Naylor reported at Snap.
Naylor and Gorman will be the two leaders of Netflix’s nascent advertising business. They will be responsible for developing formats that will be utilized on the streamer’s new, cheaper tier, and they will also hunt for the partners who will buy up the resulting inventory. Gorman will be Netflix’s President of Worldwide Advertising, while Naylor will serve as the VP of Ad Sales for the streaming titan.
Netflix’s desire to launch an ad-supported tier has been public knowledge since April, when CEO Reed Hastings proposed the cheaper option as a potential remedy for his company’s flagging growth. At the time, Hastings said that Netflix would implement the new tier “over the next year or two.”
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Since then, a few key developments have unfolded. In July, after courting several companies, Netflix tapped Microsoft as the official technology and sales partner for its upcoming tier. More recently, a Bloomberg report suggested that the ad-supported version of Netflix will cost between $7 and $9 per month. Netflix pooh-poohed that report as “speculation,” but if Bloomberg is correct, Netflix users who agree to watch ads will be able to cut the price of their subscriptions in half.
The execs who will be responsible for cultivating Netflix’s ad ecosystem have plenty of experience in the streaming and tech industries. Gorman, who came on as Snap’s Chief Business Officer in 2018, previously spent five years at Yahoo and six more at Amazon. Naylor, meanwhile, was a key operative at Hulu — and a proponent of innovative ad formats — before Snap hired him in 2020.
Naylor also has another intriguing bullet point on his resume. For years, he has worked closely with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In 2014, the New York-based firm named Naylor as the chairman of its Digital Video Center for Excellence. Given Naylor’s ties to IAB, I’m wondering if Netflix’s new veep will pitch his employer’s ad product to potential buyers once the NewFronts roll back around in 2023.