Streaming services often test new features, like Spotify’s recent foray into unlimited ad-skipping, with their “active media” test. Now Netflix is getting in on the fun in the opposite direction, testing out peoples’ response to ads between episodes of TV. 

The best and most popular use of Netflix, binge-watching, relies on the automatic jump from one episode to the next, often before the credits even run. Needless to say, this won’t be a very popular addition to their list of features. Netflix is trying to soften the blow by calling the ads “personalized recommendations” and clarifying that people can indeed skip them. 

At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. 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. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.

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 anytime if they are not interested. 

So, skip away!