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Netflix may unlock its catalog free to some nonmembers for 2 days

A StreamFest promotion, hinted at in code for Netflix's Android app, may let nonmembers stream Netflix shows and movies free for two days starting Dec. 4, but it's unclear where the promo would be available.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix will unlock its service free to nonmembers for two days starting Dec. 4, allowing anyone to stream its full catalog as part of a new StreamFest promotion, according to a Protocol report Tuesday. Hints about the promotion were uncovered in code for Netflix's Android app, but it's unclear where the promo would be available and whether it would have other limitations. 

Netflix spokeswoman said the company is "always looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience."

Netflix last week ended free trials for new customers in the US, after years of giving away the first month of its service free. 

Netflix, the world's biggest subscription video service, with more than 192 million paying members, has been experimenting with different promotional levers in different markets for years. The company offered a low-cost, mobile-only plan in India but not elsewhere, for example, and it's been selectively posting some episodes of its originals free to watch on YouTube this year. 

The news comes as Netflix has continued to grow, with coronavirus lockdowns stranding people at home and a raft of new rivals launching in the last year, including HBO Max, NBCUniversal's Peacock and Disney Plus. Netflix is also slated to release its most recent subscriber figures later Tuesday, as it reports its third-quarter results. 

Read more: Every streaming service ranked: Disney Plus vs. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Peacock, HBO Max and Hulu

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