Analysis: Netflix Forever Changed Traditional Television. Now, It's Becoming Traditional Television

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Analysis: Netflix Forever Changed Traditional Television. Now, It's Becoming Traditional Television


Byline: Travis M. Andrews The Washington Post

Netflix forever changed the way we watch television, but recent announcements suggest the company might slowly be normalizing.

One of the service's primary appeals is that users can watch TV shows uninterrupted by meddlesome commercials. Netflix, in essence, invented binge-watching by allowing us all to watch a dozen episodes of "Stranger Things" without a reminder that anything in the outside world exists.

That's no longer the case, at least not for everyone.

This week, the service rolled out advertisements that appear between episodes of various shows for some users. The ads, though, won't be for Cookie Crisp or Tide, but for other shows streaming on Netflix.

"We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster," the company told Ars Technica in a statement. "A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster."

It is unclear how long the "testing" will last. Netflix did confirm that the test will only be for a segment of its user base.

Meanwhile, another familiar feature has vanished. On the web version of the service, users could leave written reviews of various shows and movies -- and for years, they did just that. But on Friday, Netflix removed this ability, along with every user review ever left there.

"Netflix customers were able to leave reviews on Netflix. …

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