Netflix Is Testing Advertisements, But It’s Not as Bad as You Might Think
One of chief glories of Netflix is the ability to pay $7.99 a month for unlimited access to the Netflix Instant catalogue without the hassle of ads — unlike Hulu, which still makes its subscribers sit through ads even though they pay a monthly fee. But Netflix subscribers may not be ad-free for much longer. The good news: the ads are for Netflix’s original programming. The bad news: they’re still ads.
According to Cord Cutters News, Netflix has begun testing advertisements in certain markets — the ads play before and after your selected title, and they’re all for Netflix’s own original series, like Orange Is the New Black and the more recent Grace and Frankie. A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the news to Motherboard, adding “As with any Netflix product test, this may never come to all our members.”
UPDATE: A Netflix spokesperson clarifies the confusion, says no commercials are coming to Netflix.
This isn’t the worst news ever for Netflix subscribers, though it’s not exactly ideal. Over time, ads become a necessary evil to increase/sustain profits. Netflix is choosing to only show ads for their own content, which — as many have already pointed out — is similar to what premium cable services like HBO and Showtime already do with their content.
The concern is whether or not Netflix will eventually move to support third-party advertisements from other major brands, and while a spokesperson told TechCrunch that they currently have no plans to do so, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. Hosting ads from third parties would be incredibly lucrative for the service, obviously.
For now, continue to enjoy your ad-free Netflix.