Netflix has begun offering a free mobile plan in Kenya with about one-quarter of its TV shows and movies available to watch and download. According to the streaming service. this move is to attract new subscribers.
The free plan is available on Android mobile phones and will not have ads. It features Netflix movies and TV shows such as Money Heist, Bridgerton and Blood & Water plus some of the programming the company licenses from others.
Netflix hopes the free plan will lead to users signing up for a paid option with more content.
The world’s largest streaming video service is looking to add customers outside of more saturated markets such as the United States, where new subscriber signups have slowed at a time when competition for online audiences has intensified.
Executives remain bullish on the long-term future, noting there are large markets where streaming television is just starting to take hold. To attract customers in Africa, Netflix is investing in locally made programming such as “Queen Sono” and “Jiva!” and has partnered with production studios in Nigeria.
“If you’ve never watched Netflix before – and many people in Kenya haven’t – this is a great way to experience our service,” Cathy Conk, director of product innovation at Netflix, said in a blog post. “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 non-paying subscribers in Kenya will not be counted in the paid total the company reports each quarter, a spokesperson said.