Netflix StreamFest promotion will briefly open service to the public

Netflix plans to make its streaming service available to everyone for a limited time through a promotion it will call StreamFest, the company has revealed. Though some details are still missing, it seems that StreamFest will be live for 48 hours during which time anyone — including non-subscribers — will be able to access the service and stream all of the content they want, no credit card required.

Netflix recently got rid of its free trial offer, eliminating one's ability to test out the service and binge-watch a show without paying. This was disappointing to many, but isn't terribly surprising given how Netflix releases its content — as entire season batches (in most cases), meaning someone only interested in one show could easily watch the entire season during a free trial and then cancel before paying.

A new 48-hour free streaming promotion called StreamFest will replace the free trials, according to Protocol, which notes that the plan was confirmed during the streaming company's third-quarter earnings call yesterday.

It seems that India will be the test market for StreamFest, which may then roll out into other markets in coming months. News of the promotion first surfaced in a report from Protocol, which reported on the discovery of code in the Netflix Android app pointing to StreamFest, though the event wasn't confirmed at that time.

The company has since reached out to confirm the report, describing StreamFest as a marketing promotion intended to attract new subscribers. Though Netflix is light on details, the app code indicates that any device with Netflix apps will be able to access the service during the free streaming period and that users won't have to provide a credit card number to access the service.

Of course, anyone who wants to keep streaming after StreamFest ends will be able to register an account. It's unclear at this time when Netflix's StreamFest will arrive for US users.