If there’s one thing Netflix users relish more than being able to feast on virtually unlimited content, it’s the ability to do so completely unmolested. Ads are a no-no! That much is abundantly clear from the events of the past week or so, during which the sudden appearance of pre- and post-roll show teasers led many to conclude third-party were not far off.
The whole issue began when some Netflix users started seeing ads of the streaming giant’s own shows. Initial user accounts suggested these were pre-roll spots limited to the Xbox One. Then reports began pouring in that the ads had spread to other platforms and were being served in a variety of ways.
When asked to comment by Cord Cutters News—the site that broke the story late last month—the company responded with this: “We are always testing new things via the service, many of which never see a rollout. We have nothing more to add at this point.” Unsurprisingly, that did little to allay users’ concerns.
But on Monday the company finally nipped all speculation surrounding the ad trial in the bud, perhaps sensing from the initial reaction that the whole thing had the potential of snowballing into a major public-relations problem.
"We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service. For some time, we've teased Netflix originals with short trailers after a member finishes watching a show. Some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins. We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that,” Netflix told Mashable in a statement.
Why this matters: Who knows what would’ve happened had Netflix left the speculation and the accompanying hand-wringing unchecked for a bit longer? One possibility is public opinion would’ve turned against the company to such an extent that even first-party ads might have become a hard sell for Netflix. Judging by the reaction of Netflix users on social media platforms, they don’t seem to find show teasers all that bothersome. That’s good news for the streaming behemoth, especially considering the amount of money it's pouring into original content.