Netflix Shuts Down Its Free Option For Mobile Devices, Ending Its Beta Test As a Free Streaming Service






Over the last two years, Netflix has been testing a plan that gave customers free access to about 25% of the Netflix catalog if they wanted it on mobile devices. This plan was being tested in Kenya as a way to attract more subscribers as part of a beta test to see if this model would drive up paid subscribers.

Reportedly, Netflix wanted to use Kenya as a test market to see if a plan like this could work in other parts of the world. Now it seems Netflix has decided against the idea of offering a free option for Netflix content.

Netflix told Reuters that “We definitely learnt a lot from the test” Netflix went on to say. “We are going to continue to offer a variety of other plans.” Other plans likely mean Netflix containing to focus on ad-supported and ad-free plans around the world.

Sadly if you had hoped Netflix would expand this free test to other areas closer to you we are out of luck. It seems Netflix has decided that this model of offering about 25% of its content for free on mobile devices did not work.

The idea of offering some content for free to help attract subscribers is not new. Paramount has successfully used Pluto TV to offer access to some of its older shows. The hope is that it would attract new subscribers to sign up for Paramount+ to see more of these shows.

This all comes as Netflix reportedly plans to raise the price of its ad-free subscription tier after the Hollywood actors strike ends. The streaming service reportedly wants to hike prices globally, but the changes will hit wallets in the U.S. and Canada first. At this time, it’s unclear how much Netflix will start charging users or when the new prices will go into effect.

Last January, Netflix raised its subscription fee for its Standard plan to $15.49 a month, which is $1.50 increase. The streaming app’s Premium plan rose by $2 to $19.99 a month for U.S. customers, and the Basic plan became a $1 more expensive, totaling $9.99 a month. The same month, Netflix announced plans for a paid password-sharing subscription in its effort to stop viewers from sharing accounts with non-household members. In July, Variety reported Netflix saying it was “more than a year out” from another price increased in the U.S. after its password-sharing crackdown.

For now, we will have to wait and see what Netflix does next.

Shelby Brown helped contribute to this report.

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