Netflix will take two years to assess whether free mobile content in Kenya will attract new subscribers.
The company fillings in the US Securities Exchange say it plans to test the model for one to two years to see if users will sign up to the movie streaming giant.
Netflix launched a free plan for Android mobile phone users in Kenya in September with the aim of getting more subscribers in the East African market.
In an announcement on its website, Netflix said it hopes people to try out the service, then upgrade to a paid plan.
“We try many different approaches to see what might help our growth. One example in Q3 was the launch of a free plan for mobile users in Kenya,” the firm said in its fillings.
“It will take a year or two to determine if this technique helps our paid membership growth or not,” the company said.
Netflix said this plan is a great way for anyone in Kenya with an Android mobile phone to explore its offering with access to great content, personalized recommendations, and parental controls.
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Netflix said it hopes that this encourages more people to sign up for a paid membership so that they can watch Netflix on any device (mobile, TV, or laptop), access more features such as downloads and enjoy their entire entertainment catalog.
Kenya has seen a growth of smart mobile devices with leading telco Safaricom indicating it has 23.77 million mobile data customers on its network.
However, only two thirds have high speed internet with about 8.5 million owning 4G devices, while 8.2 million have 3G capable devices.
Safaricom has partnered with Google and M-Kopa Solar to provide device financing whereby subscribers can acquire a smart device with daily instalments of Kes20.
To date over 231,000 customers have acquired high end smart devices through this model of financing.
Together with the launch of 5G, Kenya forms a promising market for the giant streaming company.
Netflix is, however, fighting homegrown Showmax, which entered the market earlier, has had a localization strategy from the start, and also has lower-priced mobile-only packages among its offerings.