Netflix is planning a new promotion: letting everyone in a given country access the service for free for a weekend. The company will first launch a test of the 48-hours-for-free promo in India, COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said in the earnings interview posted after Netflix reported third-quarter 2020 results.
“An idea we’re excited about — and we’ll see how it goes — [is] we think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing new stories we have… [to] really create an event and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” Peters said.
The move comes after Netflix earlier this month ended its free 30-day trial offer in the U.S. At the time, a company rep said it’s looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. but declined to provide details.
Netflix is calling the two-days-for-free promotion “StreamFest,” as reported previously by Protocol, and it’s kicking off the first one Dec. 4 in India. Depending on the results, it may expand the test to other markets in the future.
Among its other subscriber-acquisition tactics, Netflix this summer launched the Netflix Watch Free site, which offers a smattering of movies (including Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box”) and episodes (including the pilot of “Stranger Things”) available free to stream without a membership.
In the post-earnings interview, Peters declined to comment on when Netflix may decide to increase pricing in various markets. The company earlier this month hiked Netflix’s Standard HD two-stream plan in Canada from $14 to $15 (Canadian).
There’s no algorithm to decide when the company increases pricing, according to Peters. “We do an assessment: Do we believe that we’re really delivering more value to members?” he said, adding that “a North Star we hold close to our heart in this whole process is we think that we are just incredible entertainment value — and we very much want to remain an incredible value as we continue to improve the service and grow.”
Netflix had a blistering first half of 2020 when it added a net 25.86 million streaming customers, but fell short on Q3 expectations. The company gained 2.2 million subs worldwide (versus its previous 2.5 million forecast) and net earnings were below Wall Street consensus estimates.