Netflix is Testing Video Promotions Between TV Episodes

Netflix is Testing Video Promotions Between TV Episodes

Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalised recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.

Netflix has begun testing promotional videos for its original content that play between episodes of shows a viewer is streaming. Neither Rick and Morty nor Bob's Burgers are available streaming on Netflix in the USA, and soon after the reports of unskippable ads broke, Netflix clarified what was going on. These promotions present content already present on Netflix, the type of shows you'd otherwise see presented as recommended content. In other words, Netflix forced them to watch the ad in full before playing the next episode of Rick and Morty.

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. A spokesperson for the streaming media giant indicated to Ars Technica that while they acknowledged the "chatter on social channels" - likely referring to the reddit megathreads on the matter - they were more interested in surveying how Netflix users actually interact with the advertisements in practice. The video promos also displace the preview information of the next episode of the TV show which the user is watching.

The controversial test was first spotted by Cord Cutters News, after complaints surfaced on a Reddit thread.

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One initial claim said that "unskippable" ads for the AMC series Better Call Saul appeared between episodes of Rick & Morty, and that this ad appeared while using Netflix's smart TV app on an LG set in the UK.

"[We] are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster", read the statement in part. They can be skipped.

Only a small percentage of Netflix users around the world are seeing these promos, which are one of many tests the company performs on a regular basis. The ad featured a timer on the corner, similar to YouTube ads, but users weren't given the option to skip.

Netflix conducts hundreds of tests a year. Netflix is trying to soften the blow by calling the ads "personalized recommendations" and clarifying that people can indeed skip them.

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