So it begins. Netflix is now reportedly starting to play ads for its own shows, as several Redditors have revealed. The streaming service, whose greatest appeal is arguably the fact that it doesn't have any ads, has begun experimenting with displaying ads at a certain point during a person's binge-watch session.
Netflix Now Playing Ads As You Stream
Reddit user WhyAllTheTrains posted about their run-in with ads on Aug. 16. According to the user, they had just finished an episode of Rick and Morty on Netflix and, instead of being taken automatically to the next episode, the streaming service played an ad for Better Call Saul instead. The ad featured a timer on the corner, similar to YouTube ads, but users weren't given the option to skip. In other words, Netflix forced them to watch the ad in full before playing the next episode of Rick and Morty.
Other Reddit users quickly replied to the post and said a similar thing happened to them. In another instance, a trailer for the show I am a Killer apparently aired while jumping between episodes of Bob's Burgers.
Netflix has shared an official statement about the ads, saying it's doing it to better understand which shows users might like and help them more easily find new content.
"In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster," said a Netflix spokesperson. "It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested."
Netflix Could Lose Subscribers Because Of This
A major part of why Netflix is so appealing to cord-cutters — an increasing legion of customers who have chosen to "cut" their cable alongside other traditional premium services — is because it doesn't have ads. A person can, for instance, finish all 10 seasons of Friends in one sitting without seeing a single ad at all.
Introducing ads on the platform might make subscribers reconsider paying their monthly fee. Other Reddit users in the same thread have already expressed dismay over the change, and those who have yet to encounter the ads say they'll drop their subscription immediately upon seeing an ad.
It's entirely possible that Netflix is simply testing ads in certain regions. After all, Rick and Morty is not available in the United States and Canada, so it's very likely WhyAllTheTrains lives outside of those countries. It also seems that the ads are purely for shows and movies on Netflix, not actual commercials from other companies.
That being said, all ads are a nuisance, and it's hard to make sense why Netflix needs to burden paying customers with these ads, seeing as most of those people probably hopped onto Netflix purely because of the promise of ad-free binge-watching sessions.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments section below!