Netflix to Offer Free Service for a Weekend, Starting in India
Netflix is planning to offer a free trial of its service to everyone in a country for a weekend. The new plan will begin with India and reach global markets over time, Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters revealed during the company’s earnings call on Tuesday. Netflix already offers a 30-day free trial to let new users test its service and watch a few Web series before going for its subscription. However, just earlier this month, the Los Gatos, California-based company ended its free trial plan in the US, though it is still available in markets including India.
CPO Peters said during Netflix’ third-quarter earnings interview that the new trial promotion was just “an example of the kind of innovation” that the company planned. The executive called the plan as “an idea” to introduce the Web streaming service to new viewers.
“[W]e think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix for free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing stories that we have, the service, how the service works, really create an event, and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” Peters said in the interview with Barclays’ media analyst Kannan Venkateshwar.
Exact details of the new trial are yet to be revealed. It is also unclear whether it would co-exist with the existing 30-day free trial that is still available in India and some other markets, though it was recently discontinued in the US.
“We’re always looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokesperson told Gadgets 360 in response to the query regarding the new trial.
Netflix often conducts simultaneous testing of multiple features and promotional offers. This helps understand different requirements of viewers and make appropriate updates. Additionally, it runs distinct promotional programmes in different markets across the globe. It is, thus, likely that the new free trial would not be available worldwide and be limited to certain markets upon its testing in India.
That being said, Netflix indeed needs promotion to compete against platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar as well as to expand its subscriber base that did not grow as per the expectations, albeit hit the mark of over 19.5 crores subscribers globally by September 30. This was up from 19.29 crores subscribers reported as of June 30. However, the company predicted that it would add 25 lakhs new subscribers in the third quarter. It was three lakhs less than the actual subscribers added during the period.
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