Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, has always been adamant that his service would never rely on advertising to pay the bills. But over the last week or two, a small number of users have begun seeing what they thought were ads, and the fiery complaints flared up on Twitter. A sampling of ire from just the last few hours is below.
Reached for comment, Netflix replied that "they're not ads in the traditional sense. They are trailers for Netflix originals. As you know, we test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that." Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also took to Facebook to reassure Netflix users that the service would stay ad-free, at least in the traditional sense.
That's a pretty straightforward response, although it may be cold comfort to users who are sitting through clips of programming they have no interest in. It's also a strong sign that Netflix has no plans ramp up marketing on its service anytime soon. Judging from today's reaction on Twitter, the backlash would be enormous.
Oh, and if you're thinking to yourself, but I've been seeing ads on Netflix for ages, well, you should probably get that checked out.