Netflix launches free mobile plan, only in Kenya
Netflix began rolling out a free mobile plan in Kenya on Monday in hopes it will spur growth across Africa.
The free plan, available only on Android devices, comprises about a quarter of its content inventory, but features popular titles like “Blood & Water”, “Bridgerton” and “Army of the Dead”. The rest of the Netflix library can still be browsed but will be marked with a lock icon.
Additionally, the ability to stream to a connected TV and download titles for offline viewing will not be available on the free plan.
When it comes to the user interface, the free plan will look like the paid version to give new users a feel for the service and its offerings, Netflix said.
No credit card information is required during registration; anyone 18 or older with an email address can register and create up to five profiles.
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“If you’ve never watched Netflix before – and a lot of people in Kenya haven’t – this is a great way to experience our service,” said Cathy Conk, director of product innovation at Netflix, in a blog post. “And if you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade to one of our paid plans so you can enjoy our full catalog on your TV or laptop as well.
Paid subscriptions in Kenya start at around $ 2.75 for a mobile-only plan and $ 13 for a premium plan.
Netflix has in the past offered free trials and a selection of free content in various markets around the world. Kenya’s free mobile plan is being launched as a way to test a new strategy to attract paid subscriptions in overseas markets.
Unlike its competitors, Netflix has historically moved away from promotional subscriptions, bundling of content, and free trial periods, especially in the saturated US market where paid subscriptions have stagnated.
Last year, the company removed the trial period in the US and switched to posting free content on YouTube to promote the platform and new releases.