Don't panic, Netflix fans! Yesterday there was a post at CordCutters titled Netflix Starts Testing Pre-Roll Ads that was picked up on the tech blog circuit, and it got some folks (including me) riled up.
I mean, the greatest thing about Netflix is no ads, right? That's my favorite aspect of it anyway. That and easy binging. The CordCutters post said that certain people were seeing post- or pre-roll ads, and that some could be skipped and others couldn't. The assumption was that Netflix was testing user tolerance for ads, and I saw some speculation that we'd be seeing a new subscription tier that was ad-supported. Or worse, that the current tier would be ad-supported and we'd get a new, more expensive tier that did away with the ads.
So the bad news is that you might indeed be seeing some ads, but the good news is that Netflix has no plans to run third-party ads. What you'll see, if you see anything, are teasers for Netflix Original series. Thanks to TechCrunch for getting to the bottom of this.
I haven't been 'lucky' enough to be exposed to these teasers yet but I wonder how they work when you're watching multiple episodes. One of the great things about Netflix is how the service is smart enough to clip extraneous content from the front and back of a show. When you come to the end of an episode, well before the credits have all run the next episode will begin, and it'll start past any kind of "previously on" footage or content of that nature. This means you move smoothly from episode to episode and thus are memes about accidentally staying up all night watching Netflix born.
I hope Netflix doesn't interrupt that flow in order to tell me about a new season of Orange is the New Black, but if I get a little teaser when I first start up a show (or even when I first start Netflix) I'm not going to be too bothered by it. What would really bother me (and what Netflix assured TechCrunch isn't happening) is the introduction of Hulu-style ads for cars or mouthwash or something.
But hey, maybe I'm just a tolerant push-over. What do you think? If you finish Daredevil and see a promo for the upcoming Sense8 series (which, by the way, hits Netflix this Friday, June 5th), are you going to be annoyed?