Netflix testing pre-roll ads for its original TV programs

Reports of Xbox One users noticing pre-roll ads on Netflix started swirling a few days ago, leading to suspicions the company plans to launch adverts on the video streaming service, similar to Hulu Plus.

Netflix has defended its position on the matter, with a spokeswoman confirming the company has no plans to launch adverts. The chief executive Reed Hastings even wrote on Facebook plans to launch pre-roll “trailers” of other Netflix TV shows, but no adverts are coming in the near future.

Some users may argue the TV trailers are pseudo-adverts, in the same vein as Google promoting new services through YouTube ad space. Netflix seems keen on holding users for more than one episode or show; this new pre-roll footage could help bolster views for House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and other Originals.

Considering some TV shows might only reach another season if the ratings are high enough, it is at least worth a gambit for Netflix, even if it annoys a few users into unsubscribing.

The revenue made per subscription for Netflix seems to be enough for now. It charges £6.99 per month in the UK, but the majority of its customers are in the US. The US market is starting to become saturated with over 40 million customers, meaning Netflix is looking for other ways to increase revenue growth in its home country.

Hastings has also confirmed plans to launch in 200 countries by 2016 and is trying to haggle a Netflix Global launch. Netflix Global would feature all shows from the US alongside local favorites, but the company is having a hard time winning over cable programmers, already unhappy with the streaming service’s growth.

Hopefully, if it ever comes to making more revenue, Netflix will take the route of adding a few pounds to the monthly charge rather than baking adverts into the experience.