Netflix is testing 'commercials' for some viewers, but not calling them commercials

Joann Johnston
August 21, 2018

In a statement to The Verge, Netflix said that the trial was to reduce a customer's browsing time and also insisted the ads were meant to be skippable.

Viewers trying to binge-watch shows on the streaming service will now find their viewing interrupted by the interstitial commercials, which air after the end of one episode, before the next automatically begins.

If you or someone you love has been affected by Netflix's testing of trailers between TV episodes, fear not.

Though the test was only rolled out to a small number of users, Netflix subscribers around the world were angered by the experiment.

And another agreed, saying: "I too will not tolerate paying to see ads". The company, though, is being mindful of "chatter on social channels" on how users are reacting to the change.

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Whether you've been angrily watching trailers for Insatiable during your latest West Wing binge or you'd rather just skip the potential frustration of these trailers altogether, we're here for you.

Netflix went on to explain that this new initiative was based on the "preview" function, which was introduced in 2016 and means that excerpts from shows autoplay whenever a user scrolls over its thumbnail. At least with TV I can record and skip through them, is that going to be a feature offered by Netflix or will it be like 4OD when I'm forced to watch a 3-minute long advert and unable to skip?

'At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch.

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.

"We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes help members discover stories they will enjoy faster", Netflix said in a statement.

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