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Netflix Testing Embedded Ads for Original Programming

1 Jun, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix is quietly testing ad spots bookending original programming for proprietary shows and movies, a representative confirmed.

The world’s largest subscription streaming service (62 million members globally) has heretofore downplayed any interest embedding third-party ads into programming — a move Hulu Plus has been doing for years.

That tact hasn’t changed, according to Anne Marie Squeo with Netflix corporate communications.

“We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service,” Squeo said in an email.

At the same time, Netflix has begun embedding trailers of proprietary programs in front (and at the end) of original shows such as “Bloodline,” in select markets. During the service’s most-recent fiscal webcast, CEO Reed Hastings said Netflix would no longer spend marketing dollars advertising itself. Instead, marketing resources would focus on original programming.

In a Facebook post, Hastings reiterated the service’s longstanding stance against advertising: “No advertising coming onto Netflix. Period. Just adding relevant cool trailers for other Netflix content you are likely to love.” 

Indeed, those embedded trailers and promo spots could disappear just as quickly, according to Squeo.

“We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that,” she said.

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