Netflix will be offering free access to its service to non-subscribers in India between December 5-6, as it looks to grow its base amid increased competition in the country.

Billed as StreamFest, the initiative will allow users to watch its entire catalogue ranging from films, original series, documentaries, and reality shows for the weekend. Users will be able to sign up with their name, email or phone number and password on the dedicated StreamFest page to start streaming the content.

Registered users will be able to access the service across various platforms like smart TV, gaming console, iOS and Android apps and the web, although they will be restricted to a single stream in standard definition (SD).

Considering the nature of the initiative, there is also a cap on how many people will be able to access the service, although Netflix hasn’t disclosed any specific details on it.

The Los Gatos, California-based firm had
first stated plans to pilot a weekend-long access in India last month.

“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, the service, how the service works and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” Netflix chief operating officer and chief product officer Greg Peters had said in the company’s earnings conference call last month.

Netflix StreamFestETtech

Over the past year or so, Netflix has been conducting various pricing experiments in India and several parts of the world, in a bid to broaden its user base while retaining its premium offering. This comes in the backdrop of the streaming major increasingly relying on international markets like India for future growth.

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The company stopped offering a free 30-day trial in India earlier this year and recently extended it to all markets.

In July last year, the video streaming major
debuted a low-cost mobile-only plan for the Indian market at Rs 199 per month, which has since been rolled out into other Asian markets like Malaysia and the Philippines.

It has also piloted a
cheaper entry-level plan,
weekly plans,
discounted long-term subscription plans as well as
free content access to non-members in the country for a limited time. In August, it made select shows and movies available for free to all users across the world.

“We have been working really hard to try and make our offering in India more competitive, more attractive to members and members-to-be, and there’s a bunch of different product features we’ve been doing, partnerships and payments integrations,” Peters
had told analysts in April this year.

In India, Netflix competes with rivals like Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Essel Group’s ZEE5, and Times Internet*-owned MX Player, all of which offer more economical pricing packages to users in the country.

*Disclosure: Times Internet owns ETtech



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