More than 80 million subscribers watched the 2018 original, according to Netflix. Young stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo saw their Instagram follower counts skyrocket into the millions after the film resonated with viewers, half of whom reportedly watched it more than once.
While the streaming giant has experimented with free offers in various global territories, this is the first such move in the U.S. The promotion comes at a time when Netflix has seen its subscriber growth in the U.S. flatten, though it continues to surge internationally. Last month, it reported 167 million global subscribers as of the end of 2019, a hehy increase, but executives blamed the addition of just 42,000 subscribers in the U.S. in part on “competitive launches.” Disney and Apple have just debuted major new streaming services, with WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal joining the fray this spring along with the mobile-only Quibi.
Pricing will be a consideration for many consumers as options proliferate. All new services except WarnerMedia’s HBO Max are priced below the prevailing $13 a month rate for Netflix in the U.S.
Content chief Ted Sarandos has repeatedly emphasized his belief that feature films are a key ingredient in the Netflix special sauce. “Consumers understand the value proposition of new movie watching, compared with TV series,” he said last December at an investor conference. “In New York, that's a $100 night out.”