The Netflix test that's frustrating customers


Some Netflix users have sparked a discussion online after noticing something different as they tried to watch their favourite shows on the weekend.

A number of viewers reported being unexpectedly shown recommendations for other shows streaming on the service while watching their episodes.

A post on Reddit titled “When did Netflix start playing ads for their original shows in between episode streaming?”, saw dozens commenting and many weren’t happy.

The user in the US claimed: “I’m watching Shameless and after the episode ended I got a screen saying “More Shameless up next…” then the title card slid off screen and it continued with “but first check out Insatiable” and started playing the trailer.”

They wrote that they had never seen this before and asked others if they had the same experience.

“Yeah, just had something similar happen while watching something, this pisses me off so much,” said one frustrated user.

Someone else who encountered the same labelled it “annoying.”, but another wrote it was “better then commercials.”

Widespread discussion has been sparked online after Netflix began testing whether recommendations between episodes helps users discover content they will enjoy. Source: Getty

It seems that some were impacted here as well. One person wrote on social media, “Just got it in Australia, too. Not happy. I don’t need ads for content between shows.

They claimed: “Checked settings, no way to turn off or opt out, either.”

However another person refuted their claim, explaining “There is an opt out option. It’s under, ‘Cancel Subscription.'”, while a different person added there is also a skip button.

A Netflix spokesperson said hundreds of tests are carried out each year to better understand what helps viewers find content they want to watch more easily.

A Netflix spokesperson said hundreds of tests are carried out each year to better understand what can help users find they want to watch more easily. Source: Getty

The spokesperson said in this particular case Netflix is “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 anytime if they are not interested.”

“We do not share the specific details around a test, as that compromises the efficacy of the test. That said, our tests are generally global.”

Some users think people were overreacting about the impact of the test, with one writing: “I haven’t run into it yet but from the sounds of it, it’s not bad enough to cancel subscriptions over.”