Let’s get right to the important bit:

Login to Netflix.com and click on “Test Participation” under Your Account > Settings.

  1. Turn it off.

Although this is an easy change, Netflix is keeping the fix under wraps.

Or you can use https://www.netflix.com/DoNotTest to opt out of Netflix’s new advertisements between episodes during series binges.

Taking a page out of an MBA textbook, the on-demand content company has selected a group of users to test the efficacy of pre-roll ads. You’ve seen these ads on YouTube—a commercial that plays before you get to see the video you’ve just selected.

But in order for a split-test of this kind to work best, their marketing team needs to know how customers feel about these ads, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is styling as ‘teaser trailers, not ads.’ Once the voice of the customers has been heard, the video streaming service can decide whether to ditch the idea or “roll” it out to all their customers.

So to get the valuable customer data, Netflix is directing customers to call and express themselves to customer service reps instead of simply revealing the solution. (My phone rep repeated that she ‘needed to know and record’ how I felt about it before she finally revealed the self-help solution—which I could have used all along.)

Pre-rolls on YouTube are understandable. Most YouTube viewers are probably not paying for YouTube, so they appreciate that the ads offset the cost of their using it—and usually, the pre-rolls are skippable after five seconds.

However, customers are paying for Netflix. Netflix can place printed ads on their envelopes and send emails about their newest available videos. (And I wish they’d bring back streamable Babylon 5 and email me about that.)

But unskippable 30-second ads, and a 25-minute undesired phone call to learn how to fix it?

Better to just turn off “Test Participation” on your account.




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