You’ve waited months for the newest season of your favorite Netflix series to be released. Or maybe you’ve stumbled upon a series you didn’t know much about — only to realize you have to watch all five seasons right now!
Netflix users are well aware that the beauty behind Netflix is the ability to binge watch episode after episode with no advertisements. Which is why some recent ad-testing on the streaming service has users in an uproar.
Subscribers to the Netflix Reddit community were the first to report the ads or “video promotions.” Some users described “unskippable” advertisements that appeared between episodes of their favorite series. Others said they were shown trailers promoting other Netflix series.
Netflix clarified in a statement to Ars Technica that the change is only a test that users can skip (more on that in a moment). They said the video promotions were aimed at helping users decide which shows to watch next.
“We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster,” Netflix said their statement.
A company spokesperson said the videos are not ads or commercials. Netflix claims they are personalized recommendations for other shows and movies that can be streamed on the service. Still, some Netflix users are threatening to cancel their accounts. Others, such as Twitter user @Fictonia, are calling for the ads to stop, saying the use of ads “ruins what makes Netflix good.”
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 (@Fictonia) August 17, 2018
Others, like Twitter user @_oreo_, point out that there’s no need for Netflix to advertise to people who already pay for a subscription:
— Adam Clarke (@_oreo_) August 20, 2018
What Does The Competition Offer?
Before Netflix users make the switch to another service, it’s important to know what type of commercials they’ll run into using other streaming services.
If you sign up for Hulu, for example, you’ll see some commercials unless you upgrade to the no commercial plan. Hulu is $7.99/month for a limited commercial plan. The no commercial plan is $11.99/month.
If you’re more likely to binge using Prime Video, you’ll notice that every episode and movie starts with a promotional video for another series or film. Prime Video is available with an Amazon Prime membership.
How To Opt Out
As previously mentioned, the promotional videos are just a test. According to a spokesperson, Netflix conducts hundreds of tests every year and few are adopted. Netflix says members can skip video previews at any time.
Members can click here to opt out of participating in future testing and previews. Users can also find the “test participation” link under “settings” from their account pages.
What are your thoughts on Netflix testing out ads?
Bonus! If you’re not ready to give up Netflix just yet, check out which series are staying and which ones are leaving for good.