Netflix’s first-ever advance was bullied by the writers guild and called off its plans in person. During the revamped presentation — a pre-recorded live stream — she proved that Netflix isn’t above casting someone (almost) her size.
As part of his opening remarks, new Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters pointed out that “despite all the competition out there, Netflix is the most popular streaming service today.” He added: “To be the one to watch, you need everyone to be watching. And that’s what sets Netflix apart.”
Let’s see what you did there. Peters wasn’t wrong, but above all “the one to watch” is the slogan of Warner Bros. Discovery’s new streaming service that combines HBO Max and Discovery+. It was a line we heard a few times this morning at the start of WBD, which was in person (but had his issues).
“The One to Watch” was first shoved down our throats on April 12, when Warner Bros. Discovery announced Max. We have the transcript: Between President and CEO David Zaslav and WBD Head of Streaming JB Perrette, they repeated the slogan exactly a dozen times.
Zaslav got the first crack. “Max is the one to watch,” he said. “He’s the one to watch because it’s where every member of the family can go to see exactly what he or she wants at any given moment.”
“It’s the one to watch because we have so many of the most iconic and globally recognized franchises,” continued Zaslav, who missed the 2023 upfront presentation to advertisers. “Max is the one to watch because we have the largest TV library in the world.”
It went on and on, but you get it by now. If you don’t, here’s the official promo for Max unveiled over a month ago:
Netflix had to prove that it’s the one to watch when it comes to people willing to watch ads. Jeremi Gorman, Netflix’s president of worldwide advertising, said Netflix has “nearly five million global monthly active users, with an average age of 34,” just six months after launching the ad-supported tier. Peters added that a quarter of the streamer’s new subscriptions are targeting the advertising tier in countries where it’s available, and 70% of these new subscribers are between the ages of 18 and 49.
Netflix used its initial presentation to highlight some of the features now available to advertisers, such as the ability to ensure your ads show within the top 10 shows or movies, that you can sponsor shows or movies before the start of the title or you can even tie your company name to different Netflix collections or campaigns, like a holiday or an event.
Some of the returning shows touted during the presentation included the announcement of the return of ‘Ginny and Georgia’ for seasons three and four and ‘Virgin River’ for season six, as well as a look at new shows like ‘All the Light We Cannot See”, “Griselda” with Sofía Vergara, and “The Three-Body Problem” by David Benioff and DB Weiss.
“We share a common goal, which is to build a connection. You want to connect consumers with your amazing brands. And we want to connect them with amazing entertainment they will love,” said Peters. “For our members, it all starts with the variety and quality of our TV shows and movies. So whatever your taste, whatever mood you’re in, whoever you’re with, we’ve got something great for you to watch. From Emmy-winning dramas to reality TV, stand-up comedy to true crime, Academy Award winners to action-adventure, romantic comedy to horror, we’ve got it all. Netflix users can get in with ads for $6.99 a month.
WBD’s new combined platform, Max, launches next week on May 23, with its ad-supported tier offered to consumers for $9.99 a month. That service will include shows from HBO, other movies from Warner Bros., and a plethora of content from Discovery. WBD also used its presentation this morning to announce a new Food Network show with Selena Gomez, an All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Saturday show on TNT, a true-crime ID series produced by Michael Bay, an international trip of Conan O’Brien series for Max and a reboot of “Joe Schmo Show” on TBS.