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You can now watch a few Netflix original shows and movies without a subscription

Netflix is rolling out a new “marketing promotion” that allows anyone to stream a handful of the platform’s original shows and movies without a subscription. While access to shows such as Stranger Things and When They See Us is restricted to the first episode, viewers can watch movies like The Two Popes and Murder Mystery in full length for free.

The new offer is accessible through a dedicated section on Netflix’s website and you can play any of the free content on your mobile or computer’s browser. Unfortunately, according to this official help page, Netflix has not made it available for iOS devices. You don’t have to sign up for an account and the show or the movie begins playing as soon as you press the Watch Now button.

Netflix free catalog

Notably, other than Love Is Blind which was released earlier this year, the rest of the free catalog is at least a year old and it’s unclear whether Netflix plans to add any of its latest content to it. Netflix tells me this marketing promotion offers the same set of shows and movies globally and isn’t catered to a specific region.

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to Digital Trends.

Even though, as more people stream online content than ever in a pandemic, Netflix’s subscriber figures continue to climb an upward trajectory, it faces stiff competition ahead. Over the past year, the streaming space has become increasingly competitive with more entertainment houses like Disney and NBC lock their productions behind their own, exclusive platforms.

This is the latest in Netflix’s long list of experiments to ensure it’s leaving no stone unturned to counter the growing competition especially in emerging countries like India. However, unlike how it is usually, the free catalog is available globally.

What’s more, Netflix has, in the past, offered the first episodes of local shows in countries such as India and Latin America. In India, where nearly three-quarters of all internet users surf the web from their phones, the streaming service is also trialing mobile-only plans that start from as little as $3. It’s also looking into more affordable, annual packages.

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