Netflix is launching a completely free plan – with a more limited content selection, available only on Android phones – first in Kenya.
The streaming company hopes to offer 100% free tier, which includes about one-fourth of the content available in its paid-streaming plans in Kenya, more people will use the service and end up subscribing.
“If you’ve never seen Netflix before – and many people in Kenya have never seen it before – it’s a great way to enjoy our service,” Kathy Konak, Netflix’s director of product innovation, wrote in a blog post. “And if you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade to one of the plans we offer so you can enjoy our complete catalog on your TV or laptop as well.”
Kenya’s free plan allows people to sign up to access ad-free Netflix on Android mobile phones. In addition to a cut-out content lineup, free users are not allowed to download titles for offload viewing and it does not allow casting on an attached TV.
When Kenyans sign up for a free plan, no payment information is required. Users only need to enter an email address, confirm their age is 18 or older, and create a password. “Then you can sit back and watch Netflix’s most popular series and movies, as well as enjoy our personalized recommendations, parental controls and profiles (including kids),” Conak wrote.
A spokesman said Netflix was looking for a new way to allow Kenyans to use the service. The company has offered free trials in the past and selects free Netflix originals in various markets. Netflix’s free plan is first being rolled out in Kenya so that the company can try this method and collect information about how effective the payment subs are.