Less than two months after Netflix announced plans to add ad-supported tiers to its streaming subscription service, the Cannes Lions international advertising festival has announced that Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, was his entertainment personality of the year.
Cannes Lions, which now bills itself as an “international festival of creativity”, said Netflix will appear at the event for the first time this year, where Sarandos will receive its honor.
Sarandos will join To balance Podcast host Kara Swisher and MediaLink’s Michael Kassan on stage at Cannes’ Theater Lumière on June 23 to discuss her future plans for Netflix.
Cannes Lions President Philip Thomas called Sarandos “a leading creative force that has developed a truly compelling set of content at Netflix, transforming the creative landscape over the past decade.”
The high-flying streamer was brought down to earth last quarter after posting disappointing numbers showing he had lost 200,000 subscribers. The company’s share price fell on the news, and in an earnings call, co-CEO Reed Hastings and COO Greg Peters said Netflix was reversing its longstanding no-ads policy. and would introduce cheaper ad-supported tiers to its service. in order to attract new customers.
Sarandos was recently featured in a New York Times profile where he again defended Dave Chapelle and Ricky Gervais’ controversial Netflix comedy specials which have been criticized by viewers, as well as LGBTQ advocacy groups for their content referencing the trans community.
Sarandos is the second entertainment executive to be honored by the Cannes Lions with their Entertainment Personality of the Year honor, after Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Micheals, who received the inaugural honor at the 2019 Cannes Lions festival.
The 2022 Cannes Lions take place from June 20 to 24, 2022.