Netflix Explains Why It Got Rid Of Free Trials In The US

Netflix recently discontinued free trials in the US, meaning that potential viewers need to subscribe to the service to watch content on there. Free trials have been a major part of subscription services for a long time, so it’s been seen by some as a surprising move, but now some of the logic behind the move has been explained.

Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters has responded to a question about discontinuing free trials during the company’s Q3 earnings report, saying that it’s a matter of looking at the data they’re seeing from their testing and making adjustments.

“Like most things we do, we’re constantly assessing and testing and trying to understand what’s working, what’s working best, how do we improve,” Peters says. “Based on that testing, and that actual performance, we’ve shifted our tactics in many countries, including the United States.”

He believes that a better strategy might be to treat free Netflix periods as “events”, so that many people are discovering or revisiting the service at once. “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 we have,” he says. “Really create an event. So we’re going to try that in India and see how that goes.”

The free trial in India that he mentions is detailed further here.

Getting a free trial of Netflix previously required making an account for the first time, or attaching a new account to a new email address. Free periods could be a way to bring back lapsed subscribers, who would once again have access to their list and preferences.

Disney+ also recently cut their free trial offer, just before the release of Hamilton on the service.

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