Netflix is practically built upon being able to binge watch content, especially tv series while seamlessly moving from one episode to the next. That and also being ad-free. Now, the platform is causing some waves by testing out promo videos in between episodes for some users.
Spotted by Cord Cutter News (via TechCrunch), Netflix is highlighting its own shows and others for the in between content promos, but affected users feel like they are being hit with ads.
Netflix confirmed to TC that this is one of the “hundreds of tests” it runs annually, and views the promoted content as “recommendations.”
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.
Even though users that are a part of the test can skip the promos, some are expressing their frustration on Twitter and elsewhere.
@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
Hey @netflix I can tolerate the ads at the top of my list of shows but between every episode I watch is getting stupid
— Lee (@dogmeat707) August 17, 2018