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EXCLUSIVE Netflix offers free plan in Kenya to entice new subscribers

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Display picture of Netflix plan being provided in Kenya obtained by Reuters on September 20, 2021. Netflix/Handout through REUTERS

LOS ANGELES, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc on Monday started providing a free cell plan with about one-quarter of its TV exhibits and films in Kenya, a method aimed toward sparking development in a key African market, the corporate advised Reuters.

The free plan is on the market on Android cell phones and won’t have adverts. It options Netflix films and TV exhibits reminiscent of dramas “Cash Heist” and “Bridgerton” and African sequence “Blood & Water,” plus among the programming the corporate licenses from others.

Netflix hopes the free plan will result in customers signing up for a paid possibility with extra content material.

The world’s largest streaming video service is trying so as to add prospects exterior of extra saturated markets reminiscent of the US, at a time when competitors for on-line audiences has intensified.

Executives stay bullish on the long-term future, noting there are giant markets the place streaming tv is simply beginning to take maintain. To draw prospects in Africa, Netflix is investing in regionally made programming reminiscent of “Queen Sono” and “Jiva!” and has partnered with manufacturing studios in Nigeria.

“For those who’ve by no means watched Netflix earlier than — and many individuals in Kenya haven’t — it is a nice option to expertise our service,” Cathy Conk, director of product innovation at Netflix, stated in a weblog publish. “And if you happen to like what you see, it’s simple to improve to one among our paid plans so you’ll be able to get pleasure from our full catalog in your TV or laptop computer as properly.”

The free plan began on Monday and can roll out throughout Kenya within the coming days.

The non-paying Netflix subscribers in Kenya is not going to be counted within the paid whole the corporate experiences every quarter, a spokesperson stated.

Netflix has experimented with free provides earlier than. In 2020, it made some episodes of sequence reminiscent of “Stranger Issues” and films together with “To All of the Boys I’ve Beloved Earlier than” accessible around the globe for no cost through internet browsers.

The free plan in Kenya is broader. It’s going to look just like paid Netflix profiles to provide viewers a really feel for the service, the spokesperson stated. Exhibits that aren’t included within the free plan shall be marked with a lock icon. Clicking on a type of titles will encourage the consumer join a paid possibility.

Anybody 18 or older in Kenya can enroll within the free plan and create as much as 5 profiles. No fee info shall be required.

Some capabilities, reminiscent of the power to obtain a present or film, is not going to be accessible below the free plan.

Netflix, which streams in additional than 190 international locations, has , together with creation of a paid mobile-only plan and partnerships with native telecom operators to ease funds.

The corporate reported 209 million paying prospects worldwide on the finish of June. New member pickups slowed within the first half of 2021 after a increase early within the COVID-19 pandemic.

Africa at the moment is a comparatively small marketplace for streaming TV subscriptions. Digital TV Analysis initiatives Netflix will lead subscription video on demand providers on the continent with 6.26 million paying prospects in 2026, adopted by Walt Disney Co’s Disney+.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; modifying by Kenneth Li and Lisa Shumaker

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