Netflix Launches Free Mobile Service in Kenya to Up African Market Presence

Looking to jumpstart service in underserved markets, Netflix is rolling out free streaming video service in Kenya for Android devices. The ad-free offering is streaming Netflix original movies, TV shows and select recommended content. Users simply have to register an email address and confirm age (18+) to begin streaming.

“If you’ve never watched Netflix before — and many people in Kenya haven’t — this is a great way to experience our service,” Cathy Conk, director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote in a blog post. “And if you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade to one of our paid plans so you can enjoy our full catalog on your TV or laptop as well.”

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Netflix ended the most-recent fiscal period (June 30) with almost 210 million subscribers worldwide, including 68.7 million in Europe/Middle East/Africa. That was just 190,000 more subs than at the end of the previous fiscal period, ended March 31.

Indeed, despite launching service in Africa five years ago, Netflix continues to struggle gaining traction among the region’s 1 billion residents. The service reportedly had just 1.4 million subs in the region at the end of 2020. Offering free access to mobile devices could reverse the trend.