Netflix in talks with Hollywood studios to show ads - report

Netflix on a smartphone
The streaming giant has been struggling with subscriber numbers recently. Photo credit: Getty Images

Netflix is looking to tweak its programming deals with Hollywood studios to enable the streaming pioneer's launch of an advertising-supported version of its service, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The company has started talks with Warner Bros, Universal and Sony Pictures Television, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

It will also need to renegotiate agreements for older television shows such as Breaking Bad from Sony and NCIS from Paramount Global, according to the report.

Netflix told Reuters it is still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower priced, ad-supported option, and added that it is all just speculation at this point.

Warner Bros, Universal and Sony did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Earlier in June, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Netflix is in talks with several companies for advertising partnerships.

After losing subscribers for the first time in a decade and projecting a 2 million decline in the upcoming quarter, Netflix said in April it was considering the launch of a lower-priced tier with advertising.

The streaming giant has also been looking to crack down on password sharing, with trials in some countries to charge for sharing accounts.

According to the company more than 100 million households watch Netflix through shared accounts, with 30 million in the US and Canada alone.

Netflix's most formidable challenger - Disney+ - has also said it would introduce an ad-supported tier, as the pandemic boom in streaming fades, competition tightens and rising inflation pinches consumer spending on entertainment.

Reuters / Newshub