Streaming service provider Netflix is discontinuing its free plan in Kenya starting next month in what promises to cut off thousands of subscribers who have enjoyed complimentary access since 2021.
In a message to users on Tuesday, Netflix said that once the free service is deactivated, the subscribers’ membership will automatically be cancelled, and consumers will be required to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
“On November 1, 2023, the Free Plan will no longer be available, and your membership will end. If you want to cancel, no action is required. Your membership will be automatically cancelled when the free plan ends,” reads the email sent to subscribers.
“If you want to keep watching, upgrade to one of our paid plans. Starting from as low as Ksh200 ($1.35) per month, you can unlock all shows and movies, more features and the option to watch on your phone, TV or laptop.”
The free plan, which was launched on the local market in September 2021, was hailed as a groundbreaking move by the service provider that made Kenya the first country worldwide to enjoy such a provision.
The plan allowed users to access a limited selection of content without the need for a paid subscription as Netflix sought to tap into the growing streaming market and introduce potential customers to its vast library of movies and TV shows.
The discontinuation marks a strategic shift for the streaming giant as it points to the company’s redirected focus to convert this category of users into paying customers.
The move comes just months after Netflix announced the cutting of its subscription prices for its Kenyan subscribers by 37 percent on average as part of its response to increasing competition.
The move, announced in February this year, was aimed at winning new users as well as maintaining the existing subscribers.