Is Netflix Introducing Ads?!
The end is nigh! It looks like the golden age of binging hours upon hours of television on Netflix [...]
The end is nigh! It looks like the golden age of binging hours upon hours of television on Netflix without ever seeing a single advertisement might be coming to an end.
Services like Hulu have always operated with ads in their basic subscriptions (you can eliminate ads by paying extra). Netflix, on the other hand, has long been without any sort of ads, allowing users to enjoy movies and TV uninterrupted. However, some Netflix subscribers are now reporting that the service is forcing them to sit through full-length commercials.
A Reddit user by the name of WhyAllTheTrains posted about their experience on Thursday. According to the user, they had finished an episode of Rick and Morty on Netflix and, instead of airing the next episode, the service played a trailer for Better Call Saul. They also noted that the commercial had a timer in the corner, like YouTube ads, but at no point could they choose to skip it. Instead, they were made to sit through the whole ad before watching another episode of Rick and Morty.
Another user took to the comments to say the same thing happened to them. In this instance, a trailer for the show I am a Killer aired between episodes of Bob's Burgers. In both situations, the show that was advertised was nothing like the one that the user was watching.
**UPDATE** Netflix has shared an official statement regarding the ads, which you read below:
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.
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.
Netflix subscribers have gotten used to bingeing TV without any commercials, so an introduction of ads on the service could seriously put a damper on the experience. At this point however, there hasn't been any word from Netflix on any kind of ad rollout. It's entirely possible that the service is simply testing ads in certain regions. It also seems as though the ads that are being introduced are strictly for other shows and movies available on the site, not actual commercials from other companies.
It's quite possible that any testing or ad introduction could be reserved for international markets. Seeing as how Rick and Morty isn't available on Netflix in the United States and Canada, the user that posted the initial complaint is likely in another country. There haven't been any complaints from users in North America.
At least, not yet.
How would you feel about Netflix potentially introducing ads? Let us know in the comments below!