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Netflix just launched its first free streaming plan, but only in this region

Published Sep 21st, 2021 11:42AM EDT
Netflix free plan
Image: Netflix

Last October, Netflix phased out its free trials once and for all in the US. If you head to the Netflix Help Center, you can see that the service no longer offers free trials. Rather, Netflix points to the fact that it has “no contracts, no cancellation fees, and no commitments.” You can’t try it for free, but you’re free to cancel whenever you want. But when it comes to streaming services, not every region is the same. That’s why Netflix is introducing a free plan for the very first time in Kenya.

“Today, we’re launching a free plan that allows people to enjoy Netflix ad-free on Android mobile phones in Kenya,” the company announced. “When you sign-up, no payment information is required. All you have to do is enter your email, confirm you are 18 or over and create a password. Then you can sit back and watch many of Netflix’s most popular series and films, as well as enjoy our personalized recommendations, parental controls, and profiles (including kids).”

Netflix’s first free plan debuts in Kenya

Unsurprisingly, the free plan from Netflix does have a number of limitations. Most notably, free users will only have access to a small portion of the full library. Specifically, the selection appears to focus on original Netflix movies and shows. Free users cannot download content for offline viewing either, plus they won’t be able to cast to smart TVs. Nevertheless, they still have access to free shows and movies on their Android phones that they can watch at any time.

Speaking with Variety, Netflix said that it has been looking for ways to give people in Kenya a chance to try the service. In the past, the company has offered free trials as well as free collections of original content. For a short time, Netflix even had a whole page dedicated to a small selection of free original shows and movies in the US. That page was removed at some point in the last year.

Netflix says that its free plan “will start rolling out in Kenya today over the next few weeks.” Netflix will be gathering data about how effective the free plan is at attracting paying subscribers. If the scheme is effective, perhaps we’ll see Netflix expand its free plan beyond Kenya into other territories. That said, US members shouldn’t expect a free plan any time soon. Netflix frequently tests features that never appear in other regions, like live TV channels in France.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.