Gina Vaynshteyn
June 02, 2015 11:31 am

I love Netflix. You love Netflix. We all love Netflix! Except yesterday our ardor and loyalty was a little strained when we discovered there was a chance Netflix MIGHT start running ads like Hulu. Motherboard broke the news, reporting, “Netflix is experimenting with advertisements that run both before and after users watch a video.” However, it was speculated that Netflix would only be running ads for their original shows. And this was later confirmed by a Netflix spokesperson, who announced, “We do not and will not be adding third-party ads.” PHEW.

In an age when ads are essentially non-existent on our TV screen (thanks DVR!) and when we do most of our show and movie-watching via Netflix (according to DMR, Netflix currently has 40 million subscribers who watch 10 billion hours of programs and films), it was scary to think that there was even a possibility Netflix would have forced third-party ads on us. Like, really scary.

But Mashable reassures us that if Netflix does employ advertisement, it will be much like the way HBO and Showtime advertise their original shows. As Mashable eloquently puts it, “Frankly, as Netflix expands into more original content, using the service as a way to surface more of that content — especially if targeted at users who might like said content — makes a lot of sense.” Totally.

Netflix has always catered to its subscribers’ interests, using algorithms to “customize the user experience” so what we see on our personal profiles are different from anyone else’s —including a user on the same shared account. So my recommended shows (Gilmore Girls and X-Files) are way different than my brother’s (Freaks and Geeks and Breaking Bad), and this is based on what we’ve already watched. It’s pretty awesome.

So, if Netflix presents us with some (possibly) customized previews of what’s new and what we would like, that actually sounds like a pretty brilliant plan that can potentially expose us to new shows, or shows we’re not familiar with.

The bottom line? No need to freak out. It sounds like Netflix has our best interests in mind.

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