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Netflix experiments with promos between episodes in a series

Users finding themselves part of the test are not diggin’ it

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Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Netflix is testing out promos that play between episodes of a series that viewers are streaming in succession, and those who have seen them aren’t going for it.

TechCrunch confirmed the test program with Netflix, which said it was just one of “hundreds of tests” the company runs each year to determine how to better connect its users with shows and movies they might enjoy. “In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster,” Netflix told TechCrunch.

The reply came after several threads blew up on Twitter and social media decrying the interruption — which was at first believed to be unskippable. In any case, the tone was one of resentment, since Netflix is a premium service and users feel they shouldn’t be paying for any interruption, even if it’s to promote another show they have access to.

“I pay money to Netflix to not have to watch ads,” wrote redditor WhyAllTheTrains in a post that was originally auto-moderated out of r/Netflix, another bad look for the controversy. “If this is a sign of is what to come then they can fuck right off.”

Netflix, in its statement to TechCrunch, noted that “a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested.”

Netflix has long tried to tackle the problem of helping users find new things they may actually enjoy or find interesting among its vast sea of content offerings. The most conspicuous of these changes, however, usually end up generating some kind of complaint or backlash.

Earlier this spring, Netflix introduced auto-playing promotions when users hovered over titles in the selection menu. That set off a wave of anger about the Netflix user experience in the usual channels.

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