Netflix introduces free plan in Kenya to boost growth

On Monday, Netflix announced a free mobile plan in Kenya, as the global streaming giant tries to break into the East African country, which has over 20 million internet users.

According to the company, the free plan, which will be rolled out to all users in Kenya in the coming weeks, will not require users to provide any payment information during the sign-up process. According to the company, the new plan is available to anyone over 18 who owns an Android phone. It will also be free of advertisements.

Netflix, which is available in over 190 countries, has tried various strategies in recent years to entice customers in emerging markets. In India, for example, it began testing a $3 mobile-only plan in 2018 before expanding it to a number of other countries.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has given away its service for free or at a low cost. In the past, the company has supported free trials in many markets, offered a small portion of its original movies and shows to non-subscribers, and at least one campaign in India where the service was available for free for a weekend.

However, its most recent offering in Kenya is still impressive. According to Reuters, the company makes about a quarter of its movie and television show catalogs available to users in the East African country on the free plan.

In a blog post, Cathy Conk, Netflix’s director of Product Innovation, wrote, “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, upgrading to one of our paid plans will allow you to watch our entire catalog on your TV or laptop.”

The company did not say how long it plans to keep this free tier available in Kenya or whether it plans to expand it to other markets.

Netflix executives have stated on previous earnings calls that they are studying each market and looking for ways to make their service more appealing to everyone. The fact that you can sign up without providing any payment information lends credence to such claims. Many people in developed countries lack a credit or debit card, making services that require such payment instruments at sign-up inaccessible.

The company, which is also planning to add mobile games to its offering, only added 1.5 million net paying subscribers in the quarter that ended in June this year, which was lower than expected. To maintain faster growth rates, Netflix, which has over 209 million subscribers and Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services, is increasingly attempting to win customers outside of the United States.

Amazon launched a free and ad-supported video streaming service within its shopping app earlier this year to attract more customers in India.

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