Netflix to offer 48 hours free access starting December 4



Netflix is now testing another promotional offer to attract Indian users. The company has decided to offer 48 hours of free access under a promotional offer ‘StreamFest.’

Most notable thing is that it won’t ask users to register or enter payment details for this free access. That means there is no way Netflix can charge after this promotional access ends. During the period, the entire catalog of the movies, programs will be available for free. Netflix will see how this goes and will make other plans based on this test.

The company has already revoked the 1-month free trial in India. Now it asks users to buy a subscription to get access to content and avail free month.

“An idea we’re excited about – and we’ll see how it goes, we think that giving everyone in the 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. Really creating an event, and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” Netflix COO Greg Peters said in an interview after the company’s Q3 2020 results

A few weeks back, Netflix also made some movies and shows free for non-subscribers. This new offer is just an extension of the same test. The company wants users to see what they are missing if they don’t have a Netflix subscription.

Netflix reported very poor numbers in India for the September quarter. It didn’t manage to add many new subscribers. So the company is now trying different ways to boost the subscriber base in the country. India is a big country in terms of population. Even a small portion of the Indian population can be a big number for the company.

Netflix boasts 195 million subscribers globally but Indian subscribers are less than 3 million. On the other hand, both Disney +Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video have close to 10 million subscribers.

Pricing is the main reason why Netflix is failing to attract users in India. Disney+Hotstar offers VIP subscription at Rs. 399 and Premium at Rs. 1499. Prime Video subscription is available at Rs 999 for a year. Netflix has three plans costing Rs. 499, Rs. 649 and Rs. 799 per month. That’s the reason people hesitate to pay. There are also several other OTT platforms including ZEE5, SonyLiv & Voot in India offering cheap subscriptions.

Last year, Netflix announced to spend Rs 3,000 crore of Indian content by the end of 2020. The company used this fund in promotional offers and in acquiring rights for exclusive Indian content.

Piracy is another big reason why people avoid paying to Netflix. Netflix plans are not considered affordable by most Indians. When they get access to interesting content via Torrents, they download and watch instead of paying. Several users also share Netflix accounts. Even if paying customers are less than 3 million, the actual number of people watching Netflix content is much higher.

What do you think about this 48 hours of free Netflix access? Do you think this promotional offer can motivate people to be a paid subscriber? Share your thoughts in comments.