Remember last summer when Netflix started testing pre-roll ads before Netflix originals would play?
It looks like Netflix may have changed their ad tactic with the last update to their Netflix app on many devices. Now when you launch your Netflix app on Roku, etc., you will see a trailer auto play at the top of your Netflix menu and hear full audio promoting a new Netflix original show.
Although Netflix would like to call these ads trailers, Merriam-Websters definition of advertising is something (such as a short film or a written notice) that is shown or presented to the public to help sell a product or to make an announcement. So it is fair to call these trailers, which auto play at the top of Netflix without your request, ads.
This is a smart business move on Netflixs part. They need to continue to push their content to keep their 70 million subscribers happy with the service. The question is how far can Netflix go with these ads before they start pushing people away? Clearly there was a strong push back against pre-roll ads last summer.
However, this move to bring auto-play ads to the top of your menu seems to have arrived without compliant on the part of Netflix subscribers.
Much of this seems to be pushing an effort to drive up play numbers to help Netflix continue to grow and help their stock price. One effort to help improve their view count is auto play shortly after you click on a season or movie. Although you may have just wanted to read the description of the movie or episode it will start to auto play on newer devices.
Netflix is clearly trying to get subscribers to watch more content. It will be interesting to see what next steps they take as Netflix matures to bring new subscribers and keep old ones interested in Netflix.
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