Eyeing new subscribers, Netflix makes ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Love Is Blind,’ and more available for free

August 31, 2020, 4:17 PM UTC

Some of Netflix’s more popular original shows and movies, including Stranger Things, Love Is Blind, and the Academy Award–nominated The Two Popes, are now available to watch for free without a subscription.

There is a catch for the television series—only the first episode of the first season can be viewed—but movies can be viewed in their entirety.

The free offerings are part of an effort by Netflix to lure more subscribers to the service. “We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a company spokesperson confirmed to tech site Gadgets 360.

The titles, which also include Murder Mystery, Elite, Boss Baby: Back in Business, Bird Box, When They See Us, Our Planet, and Grace and Frankie, can be accessed globally with a variety of language options at netflix.com/watch-free. Notably, unlike Netflix’s paid subscription, a 30-second ad plays before each title.

Netflix has experimented with free access before, offering select titles to parts of Latin America and India—where it also recently tested a low-cost mobile-only subscription plan.

Netflix saw explosive subscriber growth in its first two quarters of this year, mainly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. It added 26 million global subscribers in the first quarter and second quarter combined, compared with 12 million during the same period last year. But the company doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels amid new competition from the recently launched Peacock from NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max.

Disney+ is also a strong competitor, having reached 60 million subscribers less than a year after its launch.

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