Tuesday 1 September 2020 12:53 pm

Netflix to allow non-subscribers to watch some films and shows for free

In another bid to attract new viewers, Netflix is now offering non-subscribers the opportunity to watch its series and films for free without creating an account.

The streaming platform is currently offering the first episodes of series like Stranger Things, When They See Us, and Grace and Frankie. Netflix will prompt viewers to subscribe to continue watching the series.

Read more: Netflix to spend $100m on racial equality initiatives

But viewers can watch the entirety of select Netflix Original films like Bird Box, The Two Popes and Murder Mystery.

The free viewing, first reported by OnlyTech, can only be done through web browsers or Android devices, but Ios users cannot.

A spokesperson for Netflix said: “We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”

Netflix has experimented with making some titles free to non-paying subscribers, having previously made “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available in the US.

Netflix India similarly experimented with the original Bard of Blood by making its first episode free for everyone.

But it is the first time Netflix has expanded the number of free shows to non-paying viewers across the nearly 200 countries where it is operational.

The on-demand streaming service has been boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, adding millions of subscribers in recent months.

In the first half of the year, it added 25.86m subscribers, the highest figure for a six month period.

Read more: Netflix subscribers surge as millions stream shows during coronavirus lockdowns

Its share price surged last week after a survey indicated it is likely to retain a sizeable chunk of the subscribers it added during lockdown. On Wednesday the stock soared to $547.53, just $1.20 below their record closing price of $548.73.

A Piper Sandler survey found that not only would Netflix keep the vast majority of its users after the pandemic, but customers are also ready to pay more for the streaming service.

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