Netflix is testing a new feature that adds video promos in between episodes of TV shows, Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch this afternoon.
The promos Netflix is showing to some users include full-screen personalized videos with content recommendations similar to Netflix recommendations available elsewhere on Netflix.
According to TechCrunch, the promotional videos displace preview information for the next episode of a TV show, with title, description, and thumbnail no longer visible.
Many Netflix users on Reddit and Twitter who have the new video promos have been complaining about them, with multiple threats to cancel the service if Netflix does indeed introduce promotional videos.
TechCrunch says that this is not a feature that is rolling out to subscribers at this time, but is instead a test that Netflix is running to determine how to better promote content.
Still, a small percentage of Netflix’s global audience is impacted by the test, which is ongoing.
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.
While some users have said the ads are not skippable, it does appear that customers are able to continue on with an episode at any time, bypassing the promotional video, a feature that has been confirmed by Netflix.