- Netflix is testing ads for its original content in between TV episodes the streaming service confirmed.
- Netflix referred to the ads as “recommendations” it is testing.
- But Netflix users are not pleased, and took to social media this weekend to criticize the move.
Netflix isn’t calling the new ads for its original content “commercial breaks”, but that hasn’t stopped subscribers from voicing their displeasure.
Tech-website ARS Technica first reported on Friday that it is testing promos for its original shows and movies in between TV episodes while users are binging.
In a statement to Business Insider, Netflix said, “At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.”
Netflix confirmed that the promos are skippable, which counters at least one significant Reddit claim from the UK that they are not.
The statement continued: “In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster. It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested.”
Those auto-playing video previews weren’t met with fanfare, though, and the prospect of Netflix ads doesn’t seem to be either, even if they are skippable and for original Netflix content. Netflix users do have the ability to opt out of tests.
The scope of the testing and how long it will last remains unknown, but many users have taken to social media to criticize the move.
One Reddit user said they will unsubscribe if Netflix starts to “jam ads down my throat for what little time each day I have to watch a movie or TV series.” Another on the same thread said, “I too will not tolerate paying to see ads. No way.”
And more people took to Twitter with their reservations this weekend:
netflix has started putting ads for its shitty standup specials in between episodes of frasier. and probably other shows but ive got frasier on and it feels particularly offensive. keep frasier pure
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) August 17, 2018
I love @netflix and have had it for several years! But if they do ads even ones that I can skip, I will cancel my account.
— Hilary Jenkins (@cookiedemander) August 18, 2018
Netflix is now playing ads for their own shows. Time to cancel my subscription.
— Høwie (@kazowieee) August 18, 2018
Hey @netflix , we pay a subscription so we don't have to see ads for shit.
You have a lot of market share right now. You do this, and you will quickly learn that we users don't have brand loyalty when a competitor without commercials pops up.
— Jason Folkers (@hypothetical6) August 17, 2018
I will cancel my subscription the instant I see Netflix try this shit. I am not paying to see ads.
Fuck off. https://t.co/dyAXzft6zV
— Karl Mediumwood (@KarlSmallwood) August 18, 2018
Dear @netflix. I hope you see the hate your new „ads between episodes“ bullshit gets. Take note. And turn off those self playing trailers while your at it. Nobody likes those.
A fan and long time customer
— Steve Ferreira (@stevefe84) August 18, 2018
Hey @netflix putting ads for your other shows between episode of something I am watching ruins what makes Netflix good. It makes me want to switch to other services. Please stop.
— Adam Cullen (@Fictonia) August 17, 2018
I hope it's not true that @netflix is introducing ads into its programming. I literally pay money to Netflix so that I don't have to see ads. I’d rather stop watching Netflix than have them run ads. Swear to god the first one I see I’m cancelling.
— InformationAnemone (@Info_Anemone) August 17, 2018
Netflix reported disappointing second-quarter results, and the stock plunged to its lowest level in more than 3 months on Wednesday.