It appears that the popular movie and TV streaming service Netflix is testing both pre-roll and post-roll ads on its service. For those not in the now, a pre-roll ad is a short ad that precedes a video you watch, while a post-roll ad appears at the end of the video you are watching. Many other services, including YouTube and many media outlets currently utilize pre-roll ads on their videos.
UPDATE (06/01/2015): Netflix was a bit more clear in a statement they made to Mashable:
“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.”
UPDATE 2 (06/03/2015): Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has confirmed no third party ads, but trailers for other Netflix content will be rolling out.
While the post-roll ads seem to be limited to Xbox One users, Netflix subscribers using other devices including Roku and Tivo have indicated they are getting various types of pre-roll ads, including skippable and unskippable ads, at least 20 seconds in length. The ads currently seem to be limited to ads for Netflix shows.
When asked about the ads, Netflix told Cord Cutters News:
“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.”
It will be interesting to see how the user feedback pans out, and it is interesting to see Netflix testing ads on a service that people willingly pay for in order to avoid seeing ads.
Do you currently have Netflix? How would you feel if you started seeing ads before watching a movie or settling down to binge on the latest Netflix TV show? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.