We interrupt your binge watch to bring you this important message. Similar to messages from the Emergency Broadcast System cutting in during your TV viewing, Netflix has begun showing trailers for its shows in between the episodes you are currently watching or bingeing. To be clear, it is only testing what amounts to in-house ads on only a segment of its subscribers at the present, but all users are automatically opted in to the test. Thankfully, you can politely and quickly opt out of these trailers interrupting your binge watch.
Opt out of Netflix's new ads
To opt out, you will need to access Netflix in a browser on a computer, tablet or phone; you can't opt out of of the ads with the Netflix app.
With Netflix open in a browser, tap the hamburger button in the top left (on mobile) or click your profile picture in the top right (on a computer) and then choose Account. On the Account page, scroll down to the Settings section and select Test participation. You will see a single toggle switch for Include me in tests and previews. Toggle it Off and then click or tap Done.
Boom, no more ads. Well, no more ads unless Netflix moves this feature from the test stage into its standard experience. At which point, I will update this article with any potential setting that will let you opt out of the non-test participation ads.
In a statement to CNET, Netflix explained the reasoning behind showing trailers between episodes:
At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introducedto the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.
In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster. It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested.
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Originally published on August 22, 2018.
Update, August 23: Added statement from Netflix.