Netflix recently came under fire when some of its subscribers were forced to watch ads during their binge-watching sessions, which quickly sent dozens of users into a spiral of frustration over the streaming service's sly and sneaky tactics.
To calm the storm, Netflix came out shortly with a statement where it said it wasn't showing ads to subscribers, just that it was trying a new feature that'll help them discover shows and movies they might like based on their previous watching habits. Ah, the classic "it's not a bug, it's a feature" mea culpa.
Fortunately, Netflix isn't showing ads for actual commercial products, at least not yet. Rather, it's promoting other series and movies in-between episodes. Say a user is waiting for the next episode of Black Mirror to play. They might then be subjected to an ad for Orange Is the New Black. The test involves everyone, according to CNET — thankfully, there's an easy way to get rid of them.
How To Get Rid Of Netflix Ads
Here's how to get rid of those pesky ads on Netflix once for all: first, launch Netflix in a browser and not the app itself, regardless if on a phone, desktop, or tablet. Then, click the profile picture on the top right corner. Tap the hamburger menu and then select Account.
From there, scroll down to Settings and select Test Participation. A menu will pop up. Set the "Include me in tests and previews" to off and then click done.
Voilà! No more ads. From that point forward, Netflix won't show any ads in-between shows, although that doesn't prevent it from autoplaying trailers on the homepage.
The downside is Netflix might roll the feature out as a standard feature following its testing, at which point everyone will be subjected to ads, regardless if they opt out of Test Participation or not.
Seeing how negative the response has been, however, Netflix might think twice about making this a permanent feature. Lots of users have expressed dismay and even threatened to cancel their subscription the minute Netflix begins forcing users to watch ads.
Why Is Netflix Doing This?
It's easy to see where these users are coming from. After all, isn't the point of a Netflix subscription to escape ads for good? That's why so many people are cord-cutting — ads have ruined the experience of watching cable TV. But it's also easy to understand why Netflix is doing this. The streaming service is bullish on getting people to watch its original shows, probably because in the future, Netflix won't have any third-party content to show.
Will you be able to live in a future where Netflix mostly has originals and lacks third-party shows series and films? Sound off in the comments section below!