Netflix Is Interrupting Streaming Marathons By Testing Ads Between Episodes

Senior Pop Culture Editor
08.17.18 13 Comments


Looking to catch up with Orange Is the New Black or start Disenchantment this weekend? You might be in for an unpleasant surprise. According to Cord Cutters News, some Netflix subscribers have been seeing promos for other series and movies available on the streaming service between episodes of the current show being watched. The update was first noticed on Reddit, where a user wrote, “Netflix forced me to watch an unskippable ad for Better Call Saul,” while another added, “Me too!! Last night watching [Bob’s Burgers]. Sh*tty thing is that it eliminated the musical number during the credits, and to watch it I had to press left and then up to click on ‘credits’ on my controller.”

Netflix confirmed the ads are happening, but they’re not “unskippable.”

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. (Via)

Between-episode ads is Netflix’s latest attempt to get subscribers to forget Hulu and Amazon (and HBO and FX and…) exist, along with last year’s pre-roll video previews. It’s certainly a cheaper solution than paying Kenya Barris, Shonda Rhimes, and Ryan Murphy another combined $550 million. But if anyone comes between me and my Bob’s Burgers musical numbers, there’s hell to pay.

(Via Cord Cutters News)

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