For the past three years Netflix has been playing trailers before and after some content, with the goal of promoting other things that are available to watch on Netflix. Those trailers have all been skippable and don't seem to show up all that often, but if this latest moves gets out of the testing phase they're going to end up a lot more noticeable.
Reports on Reddit have confirmed that Netflix is testing a new way of delivering these ads to users, with short trailers for Netflix Originals being shown between episodes. So if you've been catching up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine in anticipation of the fifth season hitting Netflix's catalogue, you could end up seeing a trailer for Disenchantment, or some other Netflix-commissioned series.
Netflix confirmed that this is happening, but made it clear that this idea is in the testing phases - meaning it's not being rolled out to everyone. Telling Ars Technica:
"We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster."
However it denied some Reddit users' claims that the ads can't be skipped, confirming that they're completely skippable just like the last wave of video ads. It also emphasised that the adverts are only for Netflix content, and won't involve third party ads that people subscribe to services like Netflix to get away from.
While it's not clear how many people are seeing the mid-binge ads, how long the testing will go on for, or other factors, but it sounds as though the results will be largely dependent on engagement. Netflix said it was more interested on how users interact with the ads, rather than social media backlash. That means large numbers of people clicking the ads will likely see them rolled out to more users, and vice versa.
If you're annoying seeing the new ad placement, or you want to make sure you don't end up in a new wave of testers, you can opt out of this and all future testing by heading over to this page. [Ars Technica via TechRadar]