Netflix is making a major change to its inaugural advertising beforehand, turning the event from an in-person presentation to a streaming-only affair.
Amid the ongoing writers’ strike, the megastreamer said it is canceling the in-person presentation to be held at the Paris Theater in New York on May 17. The presentation, which was scheduled for 5 p.m., would be followed by a reception for guests.
Instead, the Netflix pre-show will be a virtual, streaming-only presentation.
A Netflix source said the company plans to share an update on the progress of its advertising product, as well as its upcoming programming schedule.
The company gave no explanation for the late decision, though the Writers Guild of America has said it will have picket lines at many, if not all, of next week’s upfront presentations in New York, including Netflix. Likewise, Netflix’s Los Angeles office has been a popular location for writers on strike.
Earlier on Wednesday, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos canceled an appearance at the scheduled May 18 PEN America Gala, saying in a statement that “given the threat of disrupting this wonderful evening, I thought it best to pull out.” not to distract from the important work PEN America does for writers and journalists, as well as celebrating my friend and personal hero Lorne Michaels.”
It is not immediately clear whether other planned upfronts will take similar big steps. A senior source at another entertainment company said they still planned to hold their event, though likely without much scripting talent on hand.
Netflix only introduced its ad-supported tier late last year. Advertising Week reported first the transition from personal to virtual.