Binge-watchers are up in arms about Netflix's latest idea, which for the first time introduces video adverts between episodes to promote the streaming site's other programmes.
The advertising has so far only been rolled out to a selected group of subscribers, as part of a controlled test.
A number of viewers have responded badly to the trial, with many complaining on social media that the site's main appeal is its ad-free, uninterrupted streaming. "Netflix adding ads defeat the whole point of paid subscription," one wrote.
"At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch," the company said in a statement.
It is possible for subscribers to opt out of these tests by visiting www.netflix.com/DoNotTest, and clicking on a button beside a box which reads "Include me in tests and previews" – the default option – to turn it from "on" to "off".
Hey @netflix, @Netflixhelps, what is with these ads for originals popping up after an episode that I have to manually skip? This, on top of the preview videos if you dare stop on a title are making for a less than ideal viewing experience.— Mitch Randall (@blahsi) August 17, 2018
I hope it's not true that @netflix is introducing ads into its programming. I literally pay money to Netflix so that I don't have to see ads. I’d rather stop watching Netflix than have them run ads. Swear to god the first one I see I’m cancelling.— InformationAnemone (@Info_Anemone) August 17, 2018
Netflix adding ads defeat the whole point of paid subscription.— JR - Anime & Comics (@Jrnotjnr) August 18, 2018
A previous test, which introduced video preview trailers on the site's homepage, was later introduced to all subscribers.
"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," Netflix's statement continues.
"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."