Netflix is trying something new to rope in customers, by not making them pay. Users in Kenya today will find that they’re able to sign up and use the streaming service for free without having to submit any payment information for a trial period. Those interested will only need an email address and to confirm that they’re over 18, but there are a few catches.
For one thing, this ad-free tier is only available on the Android app, and the selection available to these free users is extremely limited — at only one-fourth the content library available to paying subscribers. Moreover, free-tier accounts won’t be able to download any episodes for offline viewing nor can they cast the content to a TV.
Cathy Conk, Netflix’s director of product innovation, says that this is a great way for Kenyans, many of whom have never experienced Netflix, to get a taste of the platform. She then of course plugged Netflix’s paid subscriptions and says that the free users can upgrade at any time.
A Netflix representative told Variety that this new tier will also act as a way for the company to gather information about its effectiveness in attracting paying customers. The streaming platform has seen slower subscribers gains after last year’s stay-at-home pandemic boom and is now looking to stimulate growth by adding new features, such as free games. It would be interesting to see this new tier expand to other countries, if it indeed successfully entices people into paying.