One of the huge advantages Netflix has enjoyed over rival Hulu Plus is its lack of ads. Both services charge customers a monthly fee to access their respective premium services although Hulu also forces members to watch commercials at regular intervals.
Unfortunately, Netflix may lose that competitive advantage.
Motherboard points out that Netflix is currently experimenting with pre- and post-roll ads for specific users in specific markets. Thankfully, Netflix is only showing trailers for its own content like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards meaning it hasn’t reached out to third-party advertisers.
Even still, people aren’t exactly happy with the interruptions. Twitter users have already voiced their concerns on the matter yet as the publication points out, without knowing how widespread the tests are, it’s impossible to tell just how upset people really are.
In response to the story, a Netflix spokesperson told the publication they do not and will not be adding third-party ads.
If Netflix was to sell third-party ads, it’d be in a pretty good position to do so. The company keeps a detailed list of every show or movie you’ve ever watched. That sort of personalized information would be a gold mine when it comes to selling targeted ads.
Investors would no doubt approve of the additional revenue that ads would bring in but that’s all dependent on members sticking around. The company already fended off one serious management flub; it may not want to tempt fate for a second time.