This week, Netflix subscribers in the UK started to see apparently unskippable ads between episodes, according to Cord Cutters News.
Multiple Reddit users reported seeing these between titles such as Better Call Saul and The Package.
Netflix has since confirmed that it is testing these ads with the aim of promoting Netflix’s original programming to its customers.
“A couple of years ago we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster,” the company said in a statement.
The streamer denies, however, that these ads will be “unskippable”. “It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested,” it says.
At this moment, this is just a test for certain users and the company says its “mindful” of social media chatter and the reception of the new feature.
If the Reddit and Twitter conversations are anything to go by, it has not been popular. If the move is to go forward, users say would change the ‘bingeable’ format that Netflix has made so popular over the past few years.
Netflix’s core point of differentiation in the SVOD game has been its ad-free platform. It is keen, however, to promote its original programming which it is increasingly pumping out to attract further subscribers.
This arrives at a time when multiple other content providers are creating their own Netflix-style streaming platforms, such as Disney, which will remove a chunk of its content from Netflix as it sets up its own streaming platform for 2018.
In the second financial quarter of 2018, Netflix missed its subscriber expectations.