Netflix tests limited free plan in Kenya

The Netflix app is displayed alongside other streaming media services on the homepage of a Roku Streaming Stick. (Photo: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons)

Netflix is a streaming juggernaut in North America and Europe, but there are still some places around the world where the company is trying to grow.

Kenya is one of those places, and this week, the company said it would start offering a limited amount of content in that country for free when viewers download the Netflix app on their Android phones.

“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, a director of product management focused on innovative initiatives, said in a statement released on Monday.

The free tier offers access to a handful of titles from Netflix’s vast catalog of original series and licensed shows and movies. There are no commercial interruptions and no payment information is required, Netflix said, but the amount of available content to stream without a subscription is limited, and the free tier of service can only be accessed on Android phones.

Conk said if users like what they see, “it’s easy to upgrade to one of our paid plans so [viewers] can enjoy our full catalog on [their] TV or laptop as well.”

The move was first reported Monday by the financial news service Reuters. A Netflix spokesperson told the agency that those who use the limited free service won’t be included in Netflix’s quarterly subscriber count.

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