Even as subscriber growth slows back home in the US.
Stream Fest will begin on the weekend starting December 5. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Netflix on Friday announced Stream Fest, a two-day promotional event “exclusively” for the Indian market so non-members “can experience the service exactly the way its members do” — and possibly get some of them on-board the subscription bandwagon in the process. Stream Fest will begin on the weekend starting December 5 at 12.01AM through December 6 at 11.59PM.
Stream Fest is a stripped-down version of the OTT platform’s monthly free trial option — which is now discontinued — though Netflix says it will not require credit or debit card information during sign-up.
Anybody can sign-up for Stream Fest with their name, email or phone number, and password from either desktop (Netflix.com/StreamFest) or Android devices (Netflix app) and start streaming. Netflix will also remind you as soon as Stream Fest is live if you opt in (you can set reminders from November 20).
The same login details can then be used to access Netflix on any device. You are free to create Profiles (including Kids’ Profiles), set Parental Controls, browse Netflix in Hindi, add series or films to My List, watch with subtitles or dubs, and use Smart Downloads on mobile.
So, what is the catch? There are a few, which is understandable considering Stream Fest literally means “free” Netflix for two days for everyone. To begin with, Netflix will be capped to one stream in standard definition for each user. This is to ensure no one else can use the same login information.
The other is, and this is the most interesting one, Netflix will limit the number of Stream Fest viewers to “make sure everyone who comes in gets the best experience.” So be prepared to sail through a swarm of “Stream Fest is at capacity” error messages and on the other end, surely, free Netflix will await you.
Netflix had first announced plans to host Stream Fest 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 Greg Peters had said during the company’s earnings call.
Stream Fest will follow close on the heels of several strategic initiatives that Netflix has taken in a bid to attract more users in India, even as subscriber growth slows back home in the US.