Silverbullet's Sandy Ghuman on Netflix-Microsoft, Video Podcasting, and a Google Break-Up

On this week's episode of The MadTech Podcast, Sandy Ghuman, managing director at Silverbullet, joins ExchangeWire's John Still and Mat Broughton to discuss Netflix choosing Microsoft to build their ad-supported tier, Spotify making video podcasting more available, and Google offering to break up part of their ads business.

Note: due to technical issues, some of the audio in this episode is distorted.


Netflix choose Microsoft to help develop ad-supported tier

Have Netflix arrived at the AVOD party too late? What could this union mean for Microsoft?

Streaming heavyweight Netflix have turned to Microsoft to help them develop a “lower-priced ad-supported subscription plan”. An ad-supported tier was floated after they lost 200,000 subscriptions in Q1, and the deal came just before the announcement of the loss of 1m subscribers in Q2.

In a statement, Greg Peters, Netflix COO, said that the new offering would provide “more choice for consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers,” adding that the company are “excited to work with Microsoft to bring this new service to life.”

However, with some leaving Netflix due to dissatisfaction with their original content catalogue, and rivals such as Disney+ hoovering up consumers, some wonder whether the move will be enough to save the streamer.


Spotify broaden video podcasting capabilities

What advertising opportunities could the rise of video podcasting on Spotify create?

Spotify are rolling out the capacity to publish video podcasts to six new countries – Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. The latest swathe of countries to get access to these tools are the first non-English speaking territories to do so.

First introduced via a limited test run in 2020, the company made video publishing via their Anchor platform available to some creators in 2021. Last April, while rolling the scheme out to North America, the UK, and ANZ, Spotify brought monetisation features, such as subscriptions and interactive options, to the platform and enabled creators to embed their videos on external sites.

In a statement, the company said “Video podcasts are a historically underutilised medium, but one [that] has the potential to grow by unlocking a new way to help audiences engage with their favourite podcasts.” 


Google float breaking up their ad unit to stave off regulatory pressure

Could this be the start of the break up of Google’s ad business? Do you think the DOJ would be happy for Google to dismantle their ad operations themselves?

Google have offered to spin off part of their advertising business in the hopes of avoiding regulatory intervention. The proposal, made to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this month, would see the company break off the area that auctions off and places ads online, although it would remain under the ownership of Google’s parent-company, Alphabet.

According to reports, it is unclear whether any proposal other than to sell off Google’s ad auctions operation would satisfy the DOJ and prevent any legal action they may be preparing to take to address the matter. This is not the first time that the search leader have offered concessions to appease regulators, but is, commentators note, “a more comprehensive package” aimed at nipping a potential antitrust suit in the bud.