Netflix plans to give users in India free access to its service for a weekend to expand its reach in the country, a top manager at the company said Tuesday.
The American streaming giant, which saw slow user growth today for the quarter ending September, recently stopped giving new users in the US the first month of free access. However, the company plans to continue experimenting with new ways to attract potential in many parts of the world, Greg Peters, COO and chief product officer at Netflix, said on the company's earnings call.
One of those new ways is giving customers free access to Netflix for a weekend in different markets, he said. The company has selected India where it competes with Disney, Amazon. and technically three dozen additional services, being the first market to test this idea and "see how to do it" from there, he said.
“We believe that giving everyone in a country free access to Netflix for a weekend could be a great way to introduce a lot of new people to the amazing stories, the service, and how it works … and hopefully a lot get from these people who have to sign up, ”he said, without disclosing exactly when the company will launch this new test in India. (Not yet available at the time of publication.)
This is not the first time Netflix has used India as a test bed to explore new ideas. The company initially flirted with the idea of a $ 2.7 monthly cellphone-only tariff in New Delhi before launching it as a permanent tier in the country and then in nearly a dozen markets last year. Since then, even more pricing plans have been tested in the country.
India has become the largest open battleground for Silicon Valley and Chinese companies in the last decade looking for their next billion users. Disney, Amazon, Google, Apple, Spotify and several other companies offer a range of their services at a very affordable price in India, the second largest internet market in the world.
The company, which earmarked $ 420 million last year to develop and license content in India by the end of 2020, is also deepening its collaboration with other industry players in the country.
It recently partnered with Reliance Jio Platforms, India's largest telecommunications operator, bundles its app in the Indian company's fiber broadband and cellular data plans. The company has also partnered with several financial institutions in India to make payment processing easier for users in the country. “We expect (more payment options) advantages in terms of customer loyalty. All of these initiatives are important and work with our large investment in local originals to improve the Netflix experience for our members, ”the company said in a letter to shareholders (PDF).