Netflix is launching an entirely free plan — with a more limited content selection, available only on Android phones — first in Kenya.
The streaming company’s hope is that by offering a 100% free tier, which includes about one-fourth of the content available in its paid-streaming plans in Kenya, more people will try out the service and end up subscribing.
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“If you’ve never watched Netflix before — and many people in Kenya haven’t — this is a great way to experience our service,” Cathy Conk, director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote 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.”
The free plan in Kenya allows people to sign up to access Netflix ad-free on Android mobile phones. In addition to a truncated content lineup, the no-cost tier does not allow users to download titles for offline viewing nor does it allow casting to connected TVs.
When Kenyans sign up for the free plan, no payment information is required. Users only need to enter an email address, confirm they are 18 or over, and create a password. “Then you can sit back and watch many of Netflix’s most popular series and films, as well as enjoy our personalized recommendations, parental controls, and profiles (including kids),” Conk wrote.
Netflix was looking for a new way to let Kenyans try out the service, a spokesperson said. The company has in the past offered free trials and select Netflix originals for free in different markets. Netflix’s free plan is first launching in Kenya as a way for the company to try out the approach and gather information about how effective it is attracting paying subs, the rep said.
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