Netflix to Experiment with Advertisements

The logo for the on-demand video streaming service Netflix.

Soon your favorite streaming service will be experimenting with advertisements.

According to Screen Rant, Netflix will be experimenting by putting commercials before and after its videos.

The streaming service will not be selling third-party ads. Netflix will show trailers for its own original programming only to certain users in certain markets, Motherboard reported.

“We are running a test to show some of our original programming,” a Netflix spokesperson told Motherboard. “As with any Netflix product test, this may never come to all our members.”

A spokesperson told Vice, “We do not and will not be adding third-party ads.”

So subscribers don’t have to be too worried about the possible change of format.

HBO has a similar format showing its own shows and films, but HBO comes with a high cost. Netflix has stayed affordable since it’s conception, but how long can it maintain the low price with no advertisements?

Alison Griswold wrote on Slate: “Should Netflix ever change its mind and scale this up to include other, third-party ads, it could conceivably help keep prices down for subscribers. The company will almost certainly have to find new sources of revenue going forward, as it’s unrealistic to assume its user base will grow at a fast enough rate to sustain it forever.”

Alison makes a very good point. As much as we all love ad-free programming, we never think about the cost of it. I for one never complain when I see a trailer when watching ‘Game of Thrones’ and I sit through the ads on Hulu Plus so I can watch my favorite shows. It’s a lot less ads than you’d be watching on TV, but most people are not as willing as me to sit through the commercials.

Streaming TV and movies are still relatively new and Neflix and other companies have to figure out how to sustain their business model. Maybe streaming services should have different levels of membership. The top membership could be ad-free, then there could be limited ads and full ads. If you’re willing to pay more money for ad-free content, companies should offer that service. But if you are like me and want to keep the cost low and are willing to watch limited ads, that should also be a service.

How do you feel about watching a trailer for a Netflix show before your feature? Would you continue streaming if Netflix ever did play third-party ads?

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