Image: Netflix

Netflix is getting an ad-supported streaming plan, and Microsoft is going to help make it happen.

A press release shared by Microsoft today can confirm that it has been named Netflix’s technology and sales partner. The Windows and Xbox maker will help Netflix “power their first ad-supported subscription offering,” something that the streamer has tried to avoid for years but is now planning because of reasons that include a subscriber exodus.

Microsoft on what the collaboration means for the two companies:

At launch, consumers will have more options to access Netflix’s award-winning content. Marketers looking to Microsoft for their advertising needs will have access to the Netflix audience and premium connected TV inventory. All ads served on Netflix will be exclusively available through the Microsoft platform. Today’s announcement also endorses Microsoft’s approach to privacy, which is built on protecting customers’ information.

This is a big day for Netflix and Microsoft. We’re excited to offer new premium value to our ecosystem of marketers and partners while helping Netflix deliver more choice to their customers.

Netflix confirmed in its own press release that it would be introducing “a new lower priced ad-supported subscription plan for consumers, in addition to our existing ads-free basic, standard and premium plans.” It’s unclear how much this will cost, but Netflix’s cheapest plan starts at $9.99. The basic plan does not include HD streaming.

The introduction of an ad-supported plan was initially teased by Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings in April, who began accepting the idea following a bad earnings report and a letter to investors that admitted the streamer was losing a significant number of subscribers. Netflix is trying to launch it before the end of the year.

Sources: Microsoft, Netflix

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