Netflix’s New Marketing Ploy: Offering ‘Stranger Things’ Free
A laptop computer and an iPhone display the home screen for the Netflix Inc. original series ‘Stranger Things’ in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg)

Netflix’s New Marketing Ploy: Offering ‘Stranger Things’ Free

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Netflix Inc. is offering 10 of its movies and shows for free, including hits like “Stranger Things” and “Bird Box,” stepping up its marketing of the streaming service in an increasingly saturated industry.

The company posted a list of titles on its website that nonsubscribers can see without logging in or signing up for a trial. Viewers can watch movies in their entirety, but only the first episode of a show like “Stranger Things” is available free.

It’s not uncommon for services to offer free samples, and Netflix has tried a variety of promotions over the years. But it’s facing a more crowded market than ever -- with Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock all debuting within the past year.

For now, the competition hasn’t hampered Netflix’s expansion. In fact, pandemic-fueled lockdowns supercharged growth in the first two quarters of the year. But in July the company gave a disappointing forecast for the third quarter, jarring investors.

The free promotion is limited. Though it offers some of the service’s best-known shows and movies, including “Love Is Blind,” “When They See Us” and “The Two Popes,” the preview only works on personal computers or an Android device.

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a company representative said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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