Reports have surfaced that popular streaming service Netflix has started to roll out ads before and after content, and while many have been understandably dreading an ad-filled change to their binge watching, the end of civilisation is not yet here.
Cord Cutter News initially reported that early word of ad testing came from users streaming the service on the Xbox One. Users on other devices, including Roku and Tivo, soon began reporting the same.
“We are always testing new things via the service, many of which never see a rollout. We have nothing more to add at this point,” a Netflix statement sent to Cord Cutter News read.
The folks at Motherboard also looked into the issue, receiving confirmation that Netflix was indeed going ahead with testing.
“We are running a test to show some of our original programming,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “As with any Netflix product test, this may never come to all our members.”
Another spokesperson added: “We do not and will not be adding third-party ads.”
Furthermore, a Netflix statement to Mashable looks to have settled it:
“We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service. For some time, we’ve teased Netflix originals with short trailers after a member finishes watching a show. Some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins. We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that.”
There’s no doubt Netflix has the necessary presence and reach to drive plenty of advertising, if it so desired, but for now it’s looking like the company intends to only deliver ads promoting their own content. U.S. streaming companies HBO and Showtime have been doing this for some time.
Initial reactions have been understandably full of concern: