When you read the words “adds to Netflix,” you're probably stoked to find out which movies and TV shows are about to be available in the streaming service's library. The words “ads on Netflix,” however, may give you pause. As several outlets have noted, Netflix is experimenting with playing ads. Currently in its testing phase, some users are seeing trailers for Netflix Originals in between episodes of whatever shows they are marthoning via the streaming service. And yes, for the time being, there is an easy way to stop Netflix from showing you these promos between episodes.
As Ars Technica reported on Friday, Aug. 17, some Netflix users have seen trailers for Netflix Originals sprinkled in between episodes of shows as they embark on a marathon journey. For now, the Netflix ads situation is in its testing phase. As Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran told Bustle earlier this week, "In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster. It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at any time if they are not interested."
If you don't want to sit through a preview for a Netflix Original in the middle of a Cheers marathon because you are worried it will harsh your marathon momentum, there is something you can do about it. The promos can totally be skipped, so hit that skip button if you are so inclined.
Moreover, Netflix does not see these trailers as ads, but recommendations. Saran told Bustle, “There is an idea that these are commercials or ads. But they’re actually personalized recommendations similar to the recommendations that a user would see on the home screen [of the Netflix service].”
And again, the ads, er, recommendations can indeed be skipped.
But if you would rather not deal with the skip button, you can opt out of this test entirely. For anyone who’s uninterested in seeing any handpicked promos, CNET has offered up a step-by-step guide to opting out of the trailers. First, pull up the streaming service in a browser, not the app. Then, head on over to your account page and look for the words “Test participation” in the Settings category. Click Test participation, turn off the “Include me in tests and previews” option, hit the Done button, and say goodbye to mid-marathon Netflix ads. Er, say goodbye to Netflix’s mid-marathon personalized recommendations test phase; if and when this feature goes from test to permanent, then it is back to the drawing board.
Hey, maybe you are a curious cat and would like to see what sort of personalized recommendations Netflix cooks up for you. If that happens to be the case, cool. Just leave your settings be, stream a bunch of episodes of a TV show, and wait to find out which Netflix Original the streaming service thinks you will enjoy next.
Or, you know, you could always just scroll through the recommendations on your Netflix home screen. Whatever floats your boat. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a stream… ing service.