Netflix is testing a new service in France that aims to offer customers a regular TV channel-like experience. Dubbed as Netflix Direct, the streaming company is offering the linear TV channel to subscribers that will air French, international and American feature films as well as other popular TV shows. According to a report by Variety citing Netflix, the Direct channel is for those users who can not decide what to watch, thanks to its huge collection of movies and TV series. The Netflix Direct is available to select users in France and might rollout to other markets once the trial is over.
The test channel reportedly had a soft launch on November 5, and more Netflix users in France are expected to get access by next month. The report adds that Netflix chose to experiment in France as the country has a high percentage of users who still consume traditional TV. That being said, the Netflix Direct will curate programmes based on the respective market – in this case, shows and movies that are popular among the French audience. It also means that users will not have the option to pick and choose movies and TV shows on Netflix Direct as per their preferences, that the platform typically offers with its app for Android and iOS or web client.
Netflix with the Netflix Direct may also try to appeal to older demographics that make up a significant portion of households in France. According to Variety, the subscription video on demand (SVOD) model has roughly 9 million subscribers in France. Netflix in a bid to appeal to a new audience recently announced a free trial of its service for a weekend with Netflix StreamFest in India. The offer is for those users who have not subscribed to the platform yet, and they can access the entire catalogue of movies and TV shows that is available in the region.