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Is this free movie offer enough to make you sign up for Netflix?

Netflix is offering a free movie to folks in the U.S. in the hope of scoring some new subscribers.

The movie, a Netflix Original called To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, is a rom-com about a teen called Lara whose life takes a drastic turn when her unsent love letters unexpectedly end up in the hands of all of her crushes. It was recently recommended by Digital Trends as one of the best romance movies on the streaming service, and currently has a 7.2/10 rating on IMDb.

Anyone in the U.S. can stream the movie for free until March 9. Netflix hopes you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll just have to sign up to its service to see the sequel, To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which landed on the platform this week (top tip — if you don’t want to become a paying member, sign up for a month’s free trial, watch the sequel, watch everything else, then cancel).

This is the first time for Netflix to offer a free movie to non-members in the U.S., but not the first time that it has deployed the tactic globally. In the U.K. last year, for example, it offered a free stream of the opening episode of season three of The Crown. Other freebies have so far been offered to folks in India and South America.

So why has the streaming company suddenly decided to offer free content in its home country? Well, the data from previous efforts must show that the strategy produces positive results in the form of new subscribers.

And Netflix certainly needs to find ways to encourage more sign-ups to reverse slowing growth in the U.S., the result of a range of factors that include a price hike in 2019 and the launch of competing services such as Disney+ and Apple TV+. And with HBO Max incoming, the battle for new subscribers will only become more challenging.

For the final three months of 2019, Netflix missed its forecast for U.S. subscriber growth, adding 423,000 new members, down from 1.53 million a year earlier. Globally, however, it beat expectations, adding 8.3 million subscribers, 1.3 million more than forecast.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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