Netflix has launched a free subscription plan – but only for users in Kenya with an Android phone. The ad-free plan, which is rolling out to users in Kenya now, is part of Netflix’s attempts to get more users in the African market.
When users sign up, no payment information is required – all they need to do is confirm they’re 18 or over, enter an email address and create a password. As stated explained by Cathy Conk Director of Product Innovation in a Netflix press release:
If you’ve never watched Netflix before — and many people in Kenya haven’t — this is a great way to experience our service. 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 will start rolling out in Kenya today over the next few weeks. We hope it’s a great match and that many of the people who try our free plan love Netflix so much that over time they upgrade to a full, paid subscription.
Though there are no immediate plans to extend the free service to other territories, Netflix aims to use the model to gain insight into how effective it is in gaining new paying subscribers who wish to access the full abilities of the platform.
There’s a catch though – the free option only has around one-quarter of all content that’s offered with a paid subscription.
Shows that are included in the tier are ‘Blood & Water’, ‘Money Heist’, ‘Lupin’, ‘Dynasty’, ‘Bridgerton’, ‘Army of the Dead’, ‘The Witcher’, among others.
Netflix, which streams in more than 190 countries, has previously taken steps to boost usage in Africa, including the creation of a paid mobile-only plan and partnerships with local telecom operators to ease payments.
With 209 million subscribers around the world, Netflix is the world’s biggest streaming service, but the African continent is seen as an untapped goldmine of users and one of its final frontiers in its bid for world domination.
Kenyan users can create up to five free profiles as part of the plan, which come with personalized recommendations, parental controls, and profiles (including kids) just like the normal paid plan.
However, some functions, such as the ability to download a show or movie, are not be available under the free plan. Shows that are not included in the free plan will be marked with a lock icon. Clicking on one of those titles will encourage the user sign up for a paid option.
Netflix has experimented with free offers before. In 2020, it made some episodes of series such as ‘Stranger Things’ and movies including ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ available around the world for no charge via web browsers.
The Netflix free plan is said to have rolled out in Kenya on Monday, September 20, 2021 and users should be able to hop onto this plan effective now.