Netflix Offers First Free Mobile Plan, In Kenya, To Drive Paid Conversions

Netflix has begun rolling out its first free service plan for mobile phones — an ad-free plan that is limited to Kenya, at least for the present.

Netflix has previously offered free trials and limited content in various international markets as a sampling method to drive conversions to its paid plans, but the mobile-only plan is a new variation.

The plan gives users access to about a quarter of Netflix’s content catalog. The rest of the library is locked, but can be browsed.

Free mobile users can’t cast content to TV screens or download content for offline viewing.

To access the service, users need only to provide an email and a password, and verify that they are 18 or older.

“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, Netflix director of product innovation, wrote 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.”

Continued international expansion has become Netflix’s core growth-driver as subscriber growth has slowed in the saturated U.S. market.

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