Netflix has confirmed a major change to its video-streaming service, effective as of this week for at least some users: video ads for other Netflix series between episodes.
The news emerged via user reports, particularly on the primary Netflix Reddit community, in which users claimed that ads for entirely different series would play between episodes of a given show’s binging. 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. Replies to that thread included an allegation that a video ad for I Am A Killer (a Netflix-produced true-crime series) appeared between episodes of the animated comedy Bob’s Burgers.
An American Netflix user offered more details for exactly how the ads appear:
After the episode ended, I got a screen saying “More Shameless up next…” then the title card slid off screen, and it continued with, “but first check out Insatiable” [a Netflix-exclusive series] and started playing the trailer.
In a statement given to Ars Technica, Netflix described the change as follows: “We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster.” The reasoning, Netflix’s statement says, comes from its last controversial decision: to add auto-playing videos, complete with unmuteable audio, while browsing through Netflix content.
It’s totally a segway into actual advertisements. They are just easing it in slowly.