End of an Era: Netflix Free Plan to Discontinue in Kenya

In a significant shift in its strategy, Netflix recently announced the discontinuation of its Free plan in Kenya, signalling the end of an era for many subscribers who have enjoyed complimentary access to the streaming service. The Free plan, which was initially launched in Kenya in September 2021, was a groundbreaking move by Netflix, making Kenya the first country worldwide to offer such a plan. Aimed primarily at Android users, this initiative was seen as an attempt to tap into the growing streaming market in the region.

The Netflix Free plan allowed users to access a limited selection of content without the need for a paid subscription. It was a bold move by the streaming giant to penetrate the Kenyan market and introduce potential customers to its vast library of movies and TV shows. Just a few weeks after its introduction in Kenya, Netflix expanded the Free plan to Vietnam, indicating its global aspirations for this offering.

However, in a recent statement, Netflix notified Free plan subscribers in Kenya of an upcoming change that will affect their access to the platform. The statement reads:

“We’re writing to let you know about an upcoming change to your membership. On November 1st, 2023, the Free plan will no longer be available, and your membership will end.”

For those who have been enjoying the Free plan, the message is clear: the complimentary ride is coming to an end. Netflix also made it clear that no action is required to cancel the Free plan as it will be automatically terminated when the service ends on November 1st, 2023.

However, for viewers who wish to continue enjoying the vast array of Netflix content, the streaming giant has offered an alternative. Subscribers in Kenya can choose to upgrade to one of Netflix’s paid plans, starting as low as KES 200 per month. By doing so, they can unlock access to all shows and movies, enjoy more features, and watch content on their phone, TV, or laptop.

The discontinuation of the Free plan in Kenya marks a strategic shift for Netflix in the region. While it was a bold experiment to offer complimentary access, it seems that the company has now decided to focus on converting these users into paying customers. This move aligns with Netflix’s broader strategy of expanding its presence globally and increasing its subscriber base. Meanwhile Showmax is ending Showmax Pro, and transitioning its customers to DSTV Streaming.

In addition to the discontinuation of the Free plan, Netflix made headlines earlier this year by reducing its subscription prices in Kenya. In February 2023, the company lowered the cost of various subscription tiers, making its service more affordable for Kenyan viewers. For example, the mobile-only plan decreased from KES 300 to KES 200, while the Basic plan dropped from KES 700 to KES 300. The Standard plan went from KES 1100 to KES 700, and the Premium plan reduced from KES 1450 to KES 1100. These price adjustments were welcomed by many subscribers, especially after a price hike in May 2021.

As Netflix continues to evolve its offerings and pricing strategies in Kenya, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the streaming landscape in the country. The discontinuation of the Free plan may prompt many users to consider upgrading to paid plans, providing them with access to an even broader selection of entertainment. Ultimately, the Kenyan streaming market is evolving, and Netflix is determined to play a central role in shaping its future.

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