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Netflix is testing video promotions between shows and everyone basically hates it

If we start seeing random ads between shows, we riot.

netflix smart downloads streaming
Image: Engadget

Binge-watching on Netflix could take a little bit more time if Netflix’s new test goes mainstream. The video streaming site is now adding video promos that play in between episodes, according to Cord Cutter News, Reddit users, and more than a few angry Twitter users.

In news now confirmed by Netflix from TechCrunch, the company says the promos are full-screen videos, personalized to the user. Each features content the site would have otherwise suggested elsewhere in its user interface. Additionally, the promos also display preview information for the next episode being binged, like the title, description, and thumbnail that previously appeared on the right side of the screen.

netflix ads wtf

Image: Reddit (/u/WhyAllTheTrains)

Here’s what Netflix has to say about the tests, which are only being pushed out to a small number of users at this time:

At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.

The company goes on to say that the tests should help decide if surfacing recommendations between the various episodes help Netflix members find more relevant content. Netflix does note that these video previews can be skipped, thankfully. While much of this is probably accurate, you can’t help but think that this is yet another way for Netflix to push their own content, especially considering how big the budgets are getting on some of the company’s original content.

I’ve grown to love how Netflix has incorporated videos into its interface. If these tests include similar content, I’d probably be okay with it. However, if this is just the first step for the service to begin showing advertising between episodes, I’d say no, thanks. No, I don’t want to see ads between episodes of Orange is the New Black or Ozark, Netflix.

What do you think? Should Netflix add video content between episodes? Where is the line?

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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