Don't Worry, Netflix Won't Make You Watch Commercials

When it comes to the concept of unspeakable behavior, different people have different ideas about what falls under that umbrella. For some, it’s the death penalty, and for others, it’s commercials on Netflix. Although recent test promos have gotten some people nervous that the streaming giant would be delivering outsider advertising to their subscribers, the company announced that they’re going to keep things going just the way they are.

In the clearest wording possible, here’s how Netflix spokesperson Cliff Edwards explained the company’s stance, according to TechCrunch.

Our policy around ads is unchanged. We have no plans to support third-party ad units.

For those who aren’t entirely clued in, it’s important to note that Netflix is talking about outside advertisers horning in on their programming, and not the in-house promos that they’ve gotten more used to running at the ends and/or beginnings of their own shows. This means that subscribers might be seeing spots for Sense8 while watching episodes of the new show Between, but you won’t have to worry about seeing commercials for Chevrolet trucks or Olive Garden meal deals, the way that subscribers to Hulu and the CBS streaming platform will.

Now, that may still be a bone of contention for those who just think that Netflix’s programming should be completely void of promotions, but those people will just have to suck it up. Netflix has been building up its library of original content at an almost unbelievable rate, and since the vast majority of their series are released all at once in a single push, they don’t get as much of a week-to-week word-of-mouth push like shows do on networks. So offering subscribers a look at their other options is key.

This is exactly the kind of thing that HBO does, both on the network itself and on its streaming outlets HBO Now and HBO Go. This is also how Showtime and other premium cable channels do it, as it’s been proven that networks don’t make much money from digital ads. So it only makes sense that they would want to promote the hell out of their own shows over someone else’s product.

Fear not, though, as there’s always the slight chance that Netflix may do away with even this limited system of advertising. Here’s what else Edwards had to say.

We’ve had original teasers at the end of shows for a while. Some members are seeing tests at the beginnings of shows. As you know, we test many things over the year, many of which are never universally deployed.

So maybe you’ve never see any promos at all on Netflix, and maybe you never will.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.