Netflix Testing Pre-Roll Ads

Netflix is working on ways to get you to binge more of their content. Now, they are bringing back an experiment that didn’t go over so well in the past…

Pre-roll advertisements.

Recently spotted on Netflix’s website as well as its app on game consoles and Rokus, ads geared towards the viewer’s preferences have been airing before the viewer’s selection begins. These ads are being used to promote new movies and series that will be coming soon to Netflix, in hopes to gain interest from the viewer. What airs before your selection will be based on algorithms generated by shows you have watched and rated in the past. Netflix confirmed this endeavor in a statement to TechCrunch:

“At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can learn what helps members quickly find and start their next great binge. We’ve already seen the positive effect of the video previews we rolled out last year. Now we’re experimenting with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly. If we don’t test, we won’t learn and we’ll never get better, and who wants that?”

Netflix attempted the pre-roll ads, or “previews,” as the company calls them, back in 2015. However, they quickly fizzled out. Netflix does continue to run pre-ads on the Netflix TV app in lieu of the still cover-image that many Netflix users are accustomed to. Hovering over a selection will prompt the pre-roll, which will give the viewer a better idea of what they are about to select.

The pre-roll ads run around 30 seconds, and may be skipped by fast-forwarding.

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