[Update on October 22, 2020 at 4:30 PM: Netflix latest app update referenced StreamFest trial in the apk and was spotted by Mishaal Rahman of XDA developers. The said StreamFest trail could start from December 4 as the latest version 7.78.0 contains text-strings detailing the promotional event.]
If you were on the fence on whether to get a Netflix subscription or not, then there is good news for you. It looks like Netflix will offer its catalogue for free for a weekend for users looking to try out the service before investing.
The information comes from Greg Peters, COO and Chief Product Officer at Netflix who during the company’s earnings call said that Netflix would keep experimenting with ways to lure customers to its service. The weekend trial will happen first in India but there is no information on when the promotion will be available. “We think that giving away 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, the service and how it works … and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” he said.
While India will be the first country to receive the free weekend trial, the US will stop getting the first month for free when a new user signs up for Netflix.
This isn't the first time we have seen Netflix try different promotional activities in India or introduce a new plan first in India and then release it globally. Netflix has changed its UI to now be available in Hindi. So, a user can read the title and description of a movie or TV in Hindi, if that is his/her preferred language. You can learn more about the Hindi UI here.
As a promotional offering back in May 2020, Netflix offered new subscribers a 30 days free upgrade to a higher tier plan. This would help give you access to more screens and higher resolution based on the plan you selected and was a way of Netflix to get users to subscriber to a higher tier plan. You can learn more about it here.
Netflix also introduced the mobile-only Rs 199 plan in India first. The plan gives you access to the service on a mobile or tablet and is priced at Rs 199. This plan was an attempt to lure the audience that consumes content on their smartphone and was competitively priced when you look at the pricing of services like Disney+ Hotstar and Prime Video. You can learn more about the mobile plan here.
With yet another promotional activity, back in August, the streaming service let users consume Netflix original shows and movies without an account. This would let users get a taste of the original content on offer on Netflix and entice them to subscribe. You can learn more about it here.
From the above, it is clear that Netflix has tried innovative methods to get users to subscribe to its service without reducing the cost of the monthly subscription. It is well known that India is a price-sensitive market. Services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and even Apple TV+ are more expensive in the US. In India however, these services offer differential pricing to stay competitive. While Netflix does offer plans at cheaper rates, it is limited to mobile devices only and their main plans are priced similarity to their international offerings.