Subscription video on demand provider Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is "publicly testing ads" that run before and after its own original series like Daredevil. But don't get your panties in a bunch just yet: The provider says it still has no plans to run third-party ads on its service.
"Instead, this would be more to get you checking out other exclusive shows (say, Bloodlines) once you're looking for something new to watch," a TechCrunch article said. The publication hat-tipped Cord Cutters News for the scoop.
Still, interest around the news peaked. Cord Cutters News' site apparently dropped Monday afternoon under the barrage of hits, as speculation fired up. Could Netflix be planning an ad-supported streaming tier? Was it looking for a new way to pay for content as it approaches a subscriber ceiling in North America?
For now, it appears to be neither. "We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service," a Netflix spokesperson told Mashable in a statement. "For some time, we've teased Netflix originals with short trailers after a member finishes watching a show. Some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins."
The SVOD service's CEO, Reed Hastings, has stated quite firmly in the past that they have no intention of running third-party ads. "Our brand--at least over the next couple of years and at this point--really stands for that commercial-free experience that we have, where the consumer is in control of the experience… So it's fundamental to that control orientation that we don't cram advertisements down people's throats," Quartz quoted him as saying in January 2014.
Many weren't thrilled by the news, though, with a Gizmodo op-ed lamenting that "nothing gold can stay," and later conceding, after learning more details, that the native-ad focus "isn't so bad." Public reaction to a Netflix move hasn't been this strong--and skewed so negative--since its Qwikster announcement way back in 2011.
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