- Netflix has been hiring top ad sales execs and slashed ad rates to grow its ad-supported tier.
- Advertisers are waiting to see the offering gain scale to justify allocating more spending to it.
- Meet 23 top execs who are working to win advertising dollars in the tough 2023 market.
Netflix is gradually but steadily expanding its advertising business.
The company announced that it has signed up 10 million monthly active users for its Basic with Ads $7-per-month ad plan. While executives stated on the company’s most recent earnings call that there is a lot of work ahead, they remain optimistic that advertising will become a significant revenue contributor for Netflix in the coming years. During the company’s first-quarter earnings call in April, executives revealed that Basic with Ads earned more revenue per member than Netflix’s standard plan in the United States.
Since the launch of Basic with Ads last November, advertisers have expressed dissatisfaction with the rate at which Netflix’s ad tiers have grown. Marketers are excited about having another high-quality ad environment with a desirable audience, but they believe the offering is still insufficient to justify large investments.
To entice advertisers, Netflix has reduced rates and announced measurement and targeting initiatives that allow advertisers to run commercials against top shows or new series. It has reduced its CPM (cost per 1,000 viewers) by about 30%, according to two ad executives, from an initial rate of up to $65.
Early critics who chastised the service for being too aggressive with pricing told Insider that they are now giving them credit for resolving early issues with underdelivery on some advertisers’ campaigns.
To grow that revenue, Netflix has assembled a dream team of salespeople from across the advertising ecosystem, including digital platforms like Hulu and Snap, agencies like GroupM, and traditional TV networks like ABC.
The streamer initially enlisted Microsoft as a technology and sales partner to help it quickly launch an ad tier. However, under worldwide advertising president Jeremi Gorman and VP Peter Naylor — who was hired from Snap in August 2022 — Netflix began building its own team, and salespeople are increasingly taking over conversations with advertisers.
Netflix has also begun to organize itself in a manner similar to that of other large ad sellers, assigning dedicated salespeople to top ad holding companies such as Publicis and Omnicom and striking deals with third-party companies Nielsen, DoubleVerify, and Integral Ad Science to measure and verify their ads.
“They’re doing an excellent job of raising awareness, reaching out, and building relationships,” said Kelly Metz, managing director of Advanced TV Activation at Omnicom Media Group. “They’ve hired the right salespeople to go after the right people and have the right conversations with them.” The issue is that they require more scale.”
Here’s a rundown of the key players in Netflix’s advertising business, as well as what to look out for as they compete for scale and market share in the softest ad environment in recent memory.
Jeremi Gorman, President of Global Advertising
Gorman, who was hired away from Snap as chief business officer in August 2022, is at the helm of the organization. She previously held advertising leadership positions at Amazon and Yahoo. Peter Naylor joined Gorman’s team as her No. 2, one of many Snap alumni.
Naylor joined Netflix alongside Gorman in the summer of 2022, coming from Snap, where he was VP of sales. Prior to that, he held sales leadership positions at Hulu and NBCUniversal. Naylor has hired several former Hulu employees, including Julie DeTraglia and Kinsey Tamberrino. He’s said to be bringing his Hulu playbook to Netflix, seeking large deals with a small number of agencies in order to maintain quality control while keeping prices high.
Adam Gerber, client development senior director
Gerber has a background in advertising and traditional television, having worked for ad agency Essence and Disney/ABC Television Group. He keeps advertisers informed through Netflix’s customer advisory board and is developing new ad formats and targeting that advertisers have requested. One idea he’s shared with the agency world is a “pause ad” that appears when a viewer pauses a show — while not a novel format, it would be a step up from the company’s current basic spots.
Julie DeTraglia, Vice President of Ad Measurement Strategy
DeTraglia is a seasoned research executive who most recently served as Amazon’s global head of sports strategy and research; previously, she was VP and head of research at Hulu. She is in charge of assisting Netflix with its measurement and data reporting.
Asaf Davidov, director of advertising measurement strategy
Davidov was hired by DeTraglia, with whom he previously worked in research at Hulu, and is regarded as critical to the expansion of Netflix’s ad measurement efforts. He has also held leadership positions in ad measurement at Roku and Disney.
Senior Director of Global Client Partnerships, David Roter
Roter, one of Netflix’s newest advertising hires, joined the company in August to manage global client partnerships and report to Naylor. He was previously VP, Global Agency & Brand Partnerships at Snap, where he was credited with engineering the company’s ad turnaround a few years ago. He and Naylor were two of the company’s top executives under then-CEO Gorman.
Jon Whitticom, ad platform consultant
Whitticom joined Netflix as an advisor in January, a move that has been closely watched because it has the potential to help Netflix make a critical decision about how to improve its advertising services to marketers. Netflix may choose to build its own adtech stack, acquire adtech, or expand its Microsoft partnership. Whitticom was previously the chief product officer at Comcast-owned ad startup FreeWheel, where he was in charge of integrating five advertising companies that handled ad campaign planning and management.
Netflix has also hired several directors and other ad sales personnel from Hulu, Snap, and other platforms. Kinsey Osberg Tamberrino, Publicis’ main point of contact, spent eight years at Hulu, rising to the position of director of advertising sales. She was most recently SVP of national sales at Vevo. Michaela Giovengo, the main point of contact for ad holding company Omnicom Media Group, was also a longtime Hulu alum, rising to the position of VP of performance marketing sales; she joined Netflix after a two-year stint at Disney.
Valerie Bischak, the contact for holding company IPG, worked for Viacom Media Network for 17 years, rising to EVP; she was most recently GM at Amobee. Doug Brodman joined Netflix after four years at Twitter (now X) and previous positions at Google, NBCUniversal, and MediaVest.
Victoria Morris, formerly head of video on Google’s US video agency team, and Amy Newton, who heads US retail advertising and is a longtime Amazon vet, are two others at the director level. Joanna Read, who oversees business operations, previously worked at Snap as the head of global strategic initiatives, advertiser solutions.
Eric Berman, director of advertising strategic planning and analysis, previously worked in planning positions at Hulu and Disney. Chad Rumminger, from Twitter’s automotive ad sales, focuses on automotive accounts. Morgan Tully, the US vertical director for Tech/Gaming and Entertainment, joined TikTok from TikTok, where she focused on the tech category after working in sales at Amazon and Google.
Nicole Sabatini, a senior director for ad partner solutions, was the director of product marketing for YouTube’s ads marketing division; she also worked in integrated marketing at Hulu for five years. Julie Taylor Green is the head of US vertical ad sales; previously, she was TikTok’s director of global business solutions. Chris Smutny, a former Snap employee, has also joined Netflix as senior director of sales operations.
Jessica Masters, sales director, joined from Roku, as did Leah Doctor and Todd Walker, agency sales partners, both formerly of Twitter.
This article was originally published on May 17 and has been updated to reflect new hires and other new information.