Netflix rolling out personalized previews of upcoming content
Netflix is on a mission to get you to watch even more Netflix.
The company is now testing pre-roll preview trailers of its shows tailored to your interests, based on your preferences and viewing history.
The Netflix algorithm thinks it knows what you’ll want to watch after you finish a series or documentary. And so some viewers are now seeing a message, promising that “the following exclusive preview has been selected just for you,” as they begin a show.
The previews are not universally popular — just head to Reddit where plenty of grumbling about the ads has also already started.
A Netflix spokesperson said the previews are the next round of testing after videos came out last year to show you what you should watch next. “Now we’re experimenting with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Netflix seems to be anticipating complaints. In the statement the spokesperson added, “If we don’t test, we won’t learn and we’ll never get better, and who wants that?”
“If we don’t test, we won’t learn and we’ll never get better, and who wants that?”
As others on Reddit have noted, premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime have consistently previewed upcoming movies and series before their programming without compromising their ad-free reputations.
As part of the testing, some viewers are being served 30-second or longer previews for upcoming shows and movies. Some testers can fast-forward through the ad, while others can skip it altogether.
A spokesperson said the tests stem from data that showed video previews help people make quicker decisions on what to watch. They spend less time browsing and once watching they’ll stick through more of it — and even finish more episodes or movies through the end.
The video tests will look different once a final iteration comes out, but until then here’s your chance to see how well Netflix knows you.