Netflix to Go Free for 48-Hours in India This December, App Code Reveals

Netflix app version 7.78.0 build 11 35157 for Android carries in-app text strings referring to the Netflix StreamFest trial.

Netflix to Go Free for 48-Hours in India This December, App Code Reveals

Netflix COO Greg Peters recently announced a weekend trial that is initially planned for India

  • Netflix isn’t likely to ask users to set up a payment method
  • The free trial might be limited to some users
  • Netflix StreamFest trial may help the service add new subscribers

Netflix is planning to host a 48-hour free trial in India in December to promote its streaming service among a limited number of users to potentially attract more subscribers. An early reference about the trial has been spotted on the latest Netflix app for Android devices. The app appears to have code suggesting the trial that could be called StreamFest. During Netflix's earnings call for the third quarter results, COO Greg Peters announced plans to host a free weekend trial promotion that would begin with the Indian market.

Netflix app version 7.78.0 build 11 35157 for Android contains in-app text strings referring to the Netflix StreamFest trial, as first spotted by Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers. The text strings say that the trial will run as a promotional event on December 4.

As suggested by one of the text strings, Netflix would not require users to set up their payment method while signing up for the StreamFest trial. This is unlike the earlier 30-day trial under which users were asked to set up payment by adding their credit or debit card details and had to choose a plan on which they will be moved to post the promotional period.

Nevertheless, users signing up for the trial would still be required to enter their email address or phone number. The data will, however, only be used for receiving a reminder message. “The same information does not need to be used when you create your account before you start watching for free,” one of the text strings reads.

Although Netflix StreamFest seems to be completely free, it does appear to have limited access, as noticed by Protocol. A string in the Netflix app says, “Netflix StreamFest is at capacity.” This suggests that the trial wouldn't be available for all users in the country and might just be another limited-group testing by the company.

That said, the development of Netflix StreamFest surfaces just after COO Greg Peters announced the launch of a weekend trial in the country. “We think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix for free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing stories that we have,” Peters said during the earnings call on Tuesday.

Netflix already has a base of over 19.5 crores subscribers globally, as per the latest official data. However, it wasn't able to meet its estimated subscriber growth and added 22 lakh subscribers in the third quarter. The company is also facing a tough competition from the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar in markets including India.

Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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