That’s one headline I never wanted to write but as they say, all good things must come to an end. One of the most popular online streaming services in the world, Netflix, is testing advertisements that it will show at the beginning and at the end of streams. Its competitors like Hulu already run advertisements even though people pay a monthly subscription free, but Netflix might do things a bit differently.
Netflix won’t be running third-party ads, at least for now, so you don’t have to worry about seeing a toothpaste ad before that episode of House of Cards.
Instead, Netflix is going the HBO way. It will show advertisements for its own content at the start and end of streams, so the ads could be about the latest season of Orange is the New Black or Daredevil, not toothpaste.
According to the report, Netflix is currently conducting this test on a small number of users who access the service through their Xbox 360 consoles. The company has said that only specific users in select markets are seeing these ads right now.
However, it can’t be ruled out that Netflix would never go for third-party ads, even though they will open up a very lucrative revenue stream for the company. If it does go that way then it’s possible that Netflix might introduce new pricing tiers for people who wouldn’t mind paying a bit more each month just to get a completely ad-free experience.
Who knows what Netflix will ultimately decide to do but from the way it looks right now, ads are coming, third party or not.