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Netflix announces plan to test weekend of free streaming in India

Netflix will be testing a new way to reach prospective customers in India by offering a free weekend of streaming countrywide, company officials recently announced.

Company executives said during their third-quarter earnings call on Tuesday they hope to introduce new users to the streaming service by giving away one weekend of access and plan to pilot the offer in India to “see how it goes,” according to a transcript of the call.

“We think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix for free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing stories that we have, the service, how the service works, really create an event, and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” said Gregory Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer and chief product officer.

On Tuesday, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company reported a third-quarter net income of $790 million and said it had a profit of $1.74 per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.13 per share.

This Aug. 13, 2020 photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Also speaking of the plan to test the free service officer, co-CEO and chief content officer Theodore Sarandos said the company is “always looking at new different ways for people to get a sample of the content that everyone’s talking about, including trying the service out here and there in different ways.”

“I think licensing our content to other people – mostly, I think it’s helpful for us to keep our original content on Netflix. So people understand the value proposition of Netflix,” he added.

The internet video service posted revenue of $6.44 billion in the period, topping Street forecasts. Fifteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $6.39 billion.

For the current quarter ending in December, Netflix said it expects revenue in the range of $6.57 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $6.37 billion.

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