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Netflix gives away free TV shows and films as it struggles to find new users

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Netflix will offer a free mobile plan for TV shows and movies in Kenya to encourage growth in the African market.

The service will have one-quarter of its shows, with its own original programming as well as some licensed content. It hopes that the free plan will lead to more users signing up for a paid option.

Netflix is also investing in local programming such as “Queen Sono” and “Jiva!”, as well as partnering with production studios in Nigeria, Reuters reports.

The plan will be rolled out across the country over the coming days to anyone aged over 18 although some functionality – such as downloading movies – will not be available.

“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.

“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 streaming giant has experimented with free services before. Shows and movies such as Stranger Things, Murder Mystery, Elite, Bird Box, When They See Us, The Two Popes, Our Planet and Grace and Frankie were made available globally in October 2020.

In a statement, the company said that it was “looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”

Although there are more streaming services available, Netflix faces its biggest competition from other mediums, like video games including Fortnite, which Netflix says is a bigger factor to its health than HBO.

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