Netflix users have started to notice this week that pre-roll ads are running before their content plays.
Netflix has ads now. I'm not mentally stable enough to handle this.— Floyd (@TarynGraceBC) May 29, 2015
Predictably, they're not overly happy about it.
Oh COME ON. Welcome to the future, where our only option is to watch shows illegally or pay to watch them with ads. http://t.co/j8v9RAVCgI— Paige (@paigeronimo) June 1, 2015
Netflix starts testing pre-roll ads, because everything is terrible. http://t.co/jdy79sIUkK— Lauren O'Neil (@laurenonizzle) June 2, 2015
And some are letting their inner entitlement about the service run free.
if i see a SINGLE ad on @netflix im so, so out— Julio Capote (@capotej) June 1, 2015
But while many a Reddit thread and tech outlet has been dedicated to reporting on this terrible, apocalyptic capitalist hell, Netflix kinda just wants everyone to calm down.
"Don't freak out: Netflix is not running ads" http://t.co/CEnaS5Z0Yg— Netflix US (@netflix) June 1, 2015
The reality is that Netflix has quietly been beta-testing pre-roll ads for their own home-grown content, and that's basically it. Working in sync with the splash bar when you log in, and the suggested content when you finish another series, the pre-rolls are a very tentative test at promoting native series like Daredevil, House Of Cards, and Orange Is The New Black. Which, unless you're a nerd wasting your monthly subscription fee on bingeing series that you already have on DVD, should actually be good news.
If ads are being tested right now then there's definitely room for the service to sell some pre-roll space to third parties. But if Netflix's CEO's chill response to the backlash is anything to go by, that could still be a very long way away.
SO CALM DOWN, YA BABIES.