Netflix, free episodes to attract new users: test starts

The streaming giant is facing increasingly fierce competition. For this reason it is thinking of remodeling its free offer

Competition always stimulates the market and pushes those who have a strong position to take countermeasures. If the competition comes from giants like Disney and Apple, then there's nothing strange if Netflix has to take countermeasures.

A free episode to non-subscribers, to whet their appetite and, who knows, convince them to make at least the basic subscription. This is the move of Netflix that, unfortunately, is currently reserved only for certain markets (Italy excluded). The free episode is the first of the TV series "Bard of Blood", starring Emraan Hashmi (who also tweeted to his followers the invitation to join the initiative). At the beginning of September, Netflix gave another gift, this time to Mexicans and Colombians: an episode of the series "Elite".

The breath on their necks

If Netflix gives away episodes, it's only for one reason: it feels the breath on its neck of Disney+ and Apple TV+, the two streaming content services that are about to arrive in dozens of countries around the world to compete with it (in this case, including Italy). Disney and Apple, in fact, are absolutely credible and fearsome competitors for Netflix that, even without them, is already experiencing a slowdown in the growth of its new subscribers.

When Disney+ and Apple TV+ release their entire catalog, the firepower against Netflix will be huge. Even on the price front (6.99 euros per month or 69.99 euros per year for the former, 4.99 euros per month for the latter), the two competitors are very competitive: the basic Netflix subscription, today, in fact, costs 7.99 euros but has the limitation that it can only be viewed on one screen. That's also why Netflix launched a subscription reserved for Indian customers in the summer with a bargain price: 199 rupees, more or less $2.9 per month.

And in Italy?

Italy is currently not among the markets included by Netflix to test free episodes to non-subscribers. That's not to say, however, that it won't be soon because the two competitors are about to arrive in our country as well. Apple TV+ is at the starting ribbons: it's scheduled to launch on November 1, with a 7-day free trial. Disney+ will arrive in the United States on November 12, but it is not yet known when it will also land on Italian screens. Certainly not at the same time, but not too much later either: the website is already online and there is a "Keep me updated" button.