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Look out for these changes coming to Netflix

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A minor change is coming to Netflix, as the company removes the free trial period. The South African government are also honing in on streaming sites which fall outside of their licensing plans. 

No more free trial 

The Netflix free trial feature has officially come an end, including in South Africa. 

Those who had been riding this wave, creating ever more elaborate emails to cash in on a free month on Netflix don't have to be too concerned as it is being replaced by "Watch Free". 

Rather than give people a month-long taste of the platforms content, Netflix is pivoting its marketing by offering free access to Netflix original content like Stranger Things, The Two Popes and Grace and Frankie. 

These will rotate, meaning if you're a very big Netflix fan but not really keen to pay, you will be able to last for a little while on this free content. 

Added government fees 

Another update which has been proposed in a white paper from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is that discusses imposing licensing fees on streaming sites. 

This means that sites like Netflix and Amazon will have to buy a licence to operate in South Africa. Interestingly, this only applies to these kind of sites, with YouTube exempt. 

While this doesn't mean much for the consumer as they will not have to pay for the licence, there is always concern about a trickle down effect. The companies could decide that they will leverage this cost on the consumer by increasing monthly subscription fees. 

Whether this will go through and how the streaming sites will respond is still to be seen. 

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.