Netflix is testing a new feature which inserts video promos between episodes of the show you’re currently watching. Unsurprisingly, the users who have been involved in the testing have expressed their outrage at what they see as the introduction of adverts.
Unlike some streaming services, such as The Roku Channel, which offers free movies with ads, Netflix charges cold, hard cash. Which means users don’t want to see commercials interrupting their binge-watching marathons. Netflix didn’t get the memo.
Video Promos for Netflix Originals
According to TechCrunch, Netflix is currently testing whether it’s a good idea to show users ads for its own shows in between episodes. Testers report that after an episode ends, a video for a Netflix Original will start playing, with the onus on the user to skip it.
While these video promos are skippable, they’re still an unnecessary intrusion on a binge-watching session. And seeing as the capacity to binge on shows without any interruptions is one of the main reasons to subscribe to Netflix, this hasn’t gone down too well.
@netflix I don’t like these ads you’ve started sliding in between my episodes of The Office! I’m well aware of what originals are on Netflix – don’t interrupt my binge watching to shove them down my throat!
— Googie (@MaximumGoogie) August 17, 2018
Netflix issued a statement saying, “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 said it conducts “hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch.” And the company believes video promos help people “find something they would enjoy watching even faster.”
Spending Money on Original Programming
Netflix’s intentions may be pure, and the company is merely trying to help its users find new shows to watch. But we doubt it. Netflix is spending a lot of money producing its original programming, and to justify that it needs people to watch those shows.
After the complaints on social media, plus the articles (such as this one) that followed, we suspect this test will come to an abrupt end. However, the streaming service is bound to keep pushing the boundaries to get more users watching more Netflix Originals.