A couple of years ago, Netflix tested what they called “trailers” that played before the show you wanted to watch. After the effort met with massive backlash and negative press, Netflix stopped these tests, but it seems that Netflix is once again using pre-rolls before the show you want to watch.
Update: Netflix reached out to Cord Cutters News with a update on this story. At first we reported that these ads can not be skipped. This was based on reports from our readers. According to Netflix you can skip them but you will not find a button for that. What you need to do is fast forward till you see the show start if you want to skip them.
This time Netflix is calling them previews and starts them off by saying “The following exclusive PREVIEW has been selected just for you.” After that message, you will see a 30 second preview for a Netflix original show.
Cord Cutters News reached out to Netflix about these pre-rolls and recived this statement from Netflix “At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can learn what helps members quickly find and start their next great binge. We’ve already seen the positive effect of the video previews we rolled out last year. Now we’re experimenting with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly. If we don’t test, we won’t learn and we’ll never get better, and who wants that?”
So far, all the reports of this have come from users watching on the Netflix website. At this time, we have not received reports of Netflix testing this on streaming media players.
Update: Readers have now told Cord Cutters News that pre-rolls can also be seen on Roku players.
Last time this happened, Netflix made it very clear that they did not consider these ads, but rather trailers. After facing backlash from subscribers Netflix CEO Reed Hastings went on Facebook to say:
No advertising coming onto Netflix. Period.
Just adding relevant cool trailers for other Netflix content you are likely to love.
There is good news though; you can opt out of these pre-rolls at least for now. If you go into your account settings you can opt out of tests. This will remove beta features form your account and users have reported that it will stop the pre-rolls from starting before you can watch your show.
Have you seen these pre-rolls? Leave us a comment and let us know on what device and what you saw.
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