Less than two months after Netflix announced plans to add ad-supported layers to its subscription streaming service, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has announced Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos as Entertainment Person of the Year.
The Cannes Lions, which now bill itself as an “international festival of creativity,” said Netflix will make its first appearance at the event this year, where Sarandos will receive his award.
Sarandos will join Sway Podcast host Kara Swisher and MediaLink’s Michael Kassan on stage at the Lumière Theater in Cannes on June 23rd to discuss their future plans for Netflix.
Cannes Lions chairman Philip Thomas called Sarandos “a leading creative force that has delivered a ton of really compelling content for Netflix, transforming the creative landscape over the past decade.”
The high-profile streamer was shut down last quarter after publishing disappointing numbers showing it lost 200,000 subscribers. The company’s share price tumbled on the news, and during an earnings call, co-CEO Reed Hastings and COO Greg Peters said that Netflix is reversing its longstanding no-ads policy and will be introducing less expensive ad-supported tiers to its services. in an effort to attract new customers.
Sarandos was recently featured in The newspaper “New York Times profile, where he again defended the controversial Netflix comedy releases Dave Chapelle and Ricky Gervais, which were criticized by viewers as well as LGBTQ advocacy groups for their content that mentions the trans community.
Sarandos became the second entertainment executive to be awarded the Cannes Lions for Entertainment Person of the Year. Saturday night life producer Lorne Michaels, who won the first award at the Cannes Lions festival in 2019.
Cannes Lions 2022 will take place from 20 to 24 June 2022.