It’s Friday night, and you’re browsing Netflix. You want to relax and watch something. What should be a chill time flipping through shows and movies is significantly less chill because these STUPID ADS KEEP PLAYING.
Unfortunately, that’s just how Netflix apps work these days. As you browse, a trailer for the thing you’ve got selected automatically starts to play. If you move away to the next thing, you’ll get a few blissful moments of quiet, and then the next trailer will begin.
Even if there isn’t a trailer on file—say, it’s an older movie—the app will still begin playing a highlight reel accompanied by some generic music that’s meant to convey the vibe of the show. A TV comedy montage might get some chirpy mandolin swing, while a dramatic action movie will get some thudding low tones. But no matter where you go, having the Netflix app opens means that random music or dialogue is going to be blaring from your TV speakers on loop.
These ads are probably the most annoying thing about Netflix. They’re more annoying than the fact that they cancelled Sense8. They’re more annoying than the existence of The Ridiculous Six. They’re more annoying than Bright. (Okay, that’s pushing it.) They’re bad, is my point. I don’t like watching trailers to begin with, and I definitely don’t like constantly re-watching the first five seconds of trailers for TV shows or movies I’ve already seen.
After months of searching in a variety of apps (and on a variety of message boards), I have been unable to find a way to turn Netflix’s auto-playing trailers off. I’ve occasionally used a version of the app without auto-playing ads—my first-gen Fire TV didn’t have them, and the phone apps don’t, either. I’ve also come up with some sorta-solutions, such as how at least on the PS4 app, if I pop out to the main PS4 menu and then go back into Netflix, it won’t play an ad as long as I don’t navigate away from whatever show I was on. The moment I begin to browse again, though, the ads come back.
Give me a break, Netflix! Give us all a break. We’re already paying for your service. You don’t need to advertise your own programming to us, and you definitely don’t need to advertise to us in such an aggressive and unavoidable way. I’m sure there are some numbers somewhere that suggest that auto-playing ads make people more likely to watch more shows. I offer this as a counterpoint: I’m constantly annoyed by Netflix every single time I use it.
Netflix is supposed to be the thing that you turn on when it’s time to chill. Constant, blaring ads are not very chill. Reclaim your chill, Netflix. Let us turn off the trailers.