Netflix free access: Netflix is planning to offer a free trial of its service to everyone in a country for a weekend. The new Netflix free access 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 earlier offered a 30-day free trial to let new users test its service and watch a few Web series before going for its subscription. However, this trial subscription offer appears to have been removed.
CPO Peters said during Netflix’s 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 “an idea” to introduce the Web streaming service to new viewers.
“[W]e think that giving everyone in-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.
Meanwhile, the popular streaming platform continues to offer a cheaper mobile plan for its Indian users at Rs 199/ month.
Netflix often conducts simultaneous testing of multiple features and promotional offers. This helps understand the different requirements of viewers and make appropriate updates. Additionally, it runs distinct promotional programs in different markets across the globe. It is, thus, likely that the new free trial would not be available worldwide, and will instead 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.
While globally Netflix now has 195 million subscribers, in India, its user base is pegged between 2.5-2.8 million. It is much lower than competitors Disney +Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video, both of whom now have a subscriber base of closer to 10 million, as per various industry estimates.
However, Netflix subscription is much costlier than the other streaming services. While Disney+Hotstar offers two subscription offers – VIP (Rs 399 for a year) and Premium (Rs 1499 for a year), Prime subscription is available for Rs 999 for a year. In comparison, Netflix’s basic plan is for Rs 499 a month, while standard and premium plans are for Rs 649 and Rs 799 per month, respectively.