Netflix this week revealed it’ll be offering some of its original movies and episodes of its shows for free to those not already subscribed. Presumably this is to help the service compete with the number of other services out there. Other streaming services might want to follow its example.
Currently, the free films on offer include Bird Box, The Two Popes, and Murder Mystery. The original shows Love is Blind, Elite, Grace and Frankie, and Stranger Things are also available, among others. I should say their first episodes are available — if you get hooked on the shows, you’ll have to create your own account in order to watch them with Netflix’s free trial. I’m not sure The Boss Baby: Back in Business would be a great enticement to start an account, but what do I know about high art?
While they may not be available forever, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix offered a selection of its shows and movies for free from now on. It’s an easy way to hook an audience — whereas before Netflix could rely on its reputation, now it has much more competition in the streaming space than it used to. In July, Netflix reported that it’d added 10 million new subscribers, which topped its estimates by quite a bit. While that would ordinarily be a huge boost, there’s a possibility it’s riding a coronavirus wave, which also means it could see a drop-off in numbers once the world goes back to normal (assuming it ever does) — the company is reportedly expecting much lower numbers in the second half of the year.
So Netflix’s strategy of offering some of its originals for free as a carrot is a good way of trying to lure in more subscribers. I wouldn’t be surprised if other streaming services follow suit, if this catches on. It’s not like Disney can’t afford to offer the first episode of The Mandalorian for free.
If you aren’t already a Netflix subscriber and want to have a peek at what the service has to offer, check out the free shows here. According to Netflix support, the free shows and films are available on computers and Android devices, while iOS devices aren’t supported.