Just when you thought it was safe to sign in to your Netflix account, it appears that the company isn’t done testing out advertising. Last night, I sat down with my wife to watch episode 5 of Daredevil (yes, I’m behind — no spoilers!) after we put our little one to bed. I clicked on my profile and music came blasting from my TV. Confused, I scrambled for the remote to turn it down before my kid woke up. It took a moment to realize what was going on, but then it hit me: Netflix placed an automatically-loading ad on my home screen.
See for yourself. I grabbed my iPhone and shot a quick video. (Excuse the low sound, but once the kid’s asleep, you do what you can to keep her there)
Once I scrolled down, the music stopped, and I was able to scroll through the content as usual. But as soon as I navigated back to the top, it started up again. Pretty annoying, to say the least. It reminds me of what Crackle did with Joe Dirt 2, where they started it automatically in the background while you searched through other content (which I found equally annoying).
It wasn’t that long ago that everyone was up in arms over reports that Netflix was testing ads. The claim was then squashed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Facebook.
Call them what you will, ads, trailers, previews…but a couple of things are clear:
- Netflix is testing out different ways to convince you to watch particular content.
- They’re not just playing previews at the beginning of some shows like HBO NOW.
Will Netflix Home Screen Ads Continue?
It’s hard to say if Netflix will continue testing ads on the home screen or not. As soon as I backed out of my profile and tried signing into my wife and kids’ profiles, the ads disappeared. Instead, I saw the standard recommended content you see here.
I reached out to their PR team to see if I could get an explanation, but have yet to receive a reply. It will be interesting to see if this is a one-off sort of thing, or if it will become standard-fare. Awhile back we ran a survey that showed Netflix users had a 92% satisfaction rate, but who knows if that will stand if the Netflix ad saga continues. Whatever the case, stay tuned to CutCableToday to get the latest developments!