Netflix has ads: How long do ads last and how do they work?

On November 3, Netflix rolled out its cheapest subscription tier to date, with the caveat that it’s ad-supported. Basic with ad level costs $7 a month in the US and Netflix has plenty of content available to watch – although there is more than 250 locked movies and TV shows for the people on this floor. When it comes to the ads themselves, we know what Netflix has to say to us about the experience, but what’s the basics with ads that really enjoy watching?

Digging into the new plan, we found out some interesting things about the basic advertising plan. Remember, there was nothing we found in the two days we messed with this floor, it was all shocking. Netflix’s ratings are pretty straightforward and shouldn’t come as a big surprise to the average person watching the streaming service. However, there is one aspect of the new floor that is a bit unexpected that we will look at.

Ad length:

According to Netflx, you should get about 4 minutes of ads per hour, but that can vary depending on the title. Obviously the ads can’t be ignored. Watch an episode of the recently released Netflix Original Blockbuster, the first episode – which runs for about 30 minutes – has 2 minutes and 15 seconds of commercials. The second episode has 2 minutes and 30 seconds of commercials.

Watch different shows and movies, with the same four ad durations: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and 75 seconds. We never saw a 90-second slot, and in total we watched about 25 full breaks while watching content on Netflix – this doesn’t include the many times we started a movie or TV shows, see an ad in front of the content and get backed up.

Highest number of ads from a piece of content we’ve seen while viewing that Content (2017). In total, there are six ad breaks, for a 2 hour 15 minute movie, plus up to 8 minutes of commercials – true to Netflix’s claims of about 4 ad minutes per hour.

Ad types:

Netflix claims that ads can be personalized based on the type of content you’re watching. We find this is not the case. No matter what we’re watching, the ads are the same, no matter what you’re playing.

Ads played during use of our app appear to be travel related more often than not. There are many typical ads for cars, hotel booking sites, and cruises. In addition to the travel-related ads, we found spots for expensive jewelry, moisturizers, sandwich shops, makeup, and a big-box retail store.

In a world of personalized advertising while viewing online content, it would be a bit annoying to not have ads that serve the user’s personal interests but are at the same time refreshing. The best part of the ad experience – if there’s a “best part” – is that there are no political ads from what we’ve seen.

Ads stopped loading:

As a surprise we found when we learned the basics with the ad level, we noticed that the ads stopped appearing at one point, as we quickly realized that it was much more intuitive. more than we know. After skipping to the next ad a few times, the ad just stopped loading for movies and TV shows for a little while. After about 30 minutes, the ad is uploaded again. It seems that when you skim through 4 minutes of ads as fast as you can, the ads just stop loading for the next hour.

And speaking of ads, certain shows and movies don’t – Seinfeld is one of them. This scenario is few and far between. There are also movies that have a trailer at the beginning of the movie and then no more. Plus, nothing on the Kids account loads ads, so now your kids can play Cocomelon non-stop without hearing about the cheapest hotels online.

Netflix basic with ad tier exactly as expected, no really big surprises. Everything presented by the pre-launch streaming service is what was enforced for new users. However, raising yourself to the basic level is probably the way to go. An extra $2 a month, no ads, no locked content, and you can download content to a supported device to watch later. If the basic with ad tier is cheaper than $2 a month, it would be well worth it to sit through the ads.

The products discussed here are independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of the revenue if you purchase anything contained on our website.


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