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Uh-oh: Netflix is now experimenting with adding video ads

Published Jun 1st, 2015 4:06PM EDT
Netflix Advertising
Image: Netflix

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When detailing all of the reasons why Netflix is such an incredible service, it’s hard to know where to even begin. From its impressively cheap pricepoint to its ever increasing library of compelling and original programming, you’d be hard pressed to find a more beloved and addicting service than Netflix.

What also makes Netflix so appealing is that it’s 100% pure content, with no advertisements to be seen at any turn. As it turns out, that may soon change.

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Vice is reporting that Netflix is currently experimenting with both pre-roll and post-roll ads. Though to be clear, the advertising experiment thus far has only focused on Netflix’s own original programming, thankfully.

“The company is only showing trailers for shows like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards,” Vice writes, “it has not attempted to sell third party ads, and the company told me that, for the moment, only specific users in specific markets are seeing ads.”

In a statement provided to Vice, a Netflix spokesperson explained that the advertising testing is just that — a test. Which is to say that it’s likely a bit premature to worry about advertisements invading the peaceful and addicting video playground that is Netflix.

“As with any Netflix product test,” the spokesperson said, “this may never come to all our members.”

In a separate statement issued to Business Insider, Netflix said, “As you know, we test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that.”

If Netflix wants to make its monthly subscription service cheaper for those willing to withstand advertising, that’s one thing. But if subscribers are asked to pay even $1 or $2 more for an ad-free viewing experience, you can bet good money there will be a vociferous uproar from the company’s loyal userbase.

Of course, the type of ads Netflix runs will also play a factor in how they are received. Ads highlighting which new TV shows and/or movies are coming to Netflix in any coming month is one thing, ads from third parties are another.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.