Entertainment

Netflix confirms one-weekend free trials

Called a StreamFest

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Throughout the year, Netflix has released its exclusive content for absolutely free. Back in September, the streaming platform launched a “watch free” page with a few of its well-known titles for the unsubscribed. Now, the company is branching out even further with one-weekend free trials.

Officially called a StreamFest, the one-weekend event will make the entire platform absolutely free for non-subscribers. As a free trial should work, users don’t need to input the payment details to access the content.

Though officially unannounced, Protocol spotted the upcoming event in the Android app’s coding. According to the code, the StreamFest is scheduled for December 4 in India.

Immediately after the event, Netflix confirmed the plans as a way to “attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.” Unfortunately, the Netflix spokesperson did not share anything beyond the confirmation.

However, the leaked code is enough to reveal the event’s payment-free system. Additionally, it might be a ticketed event. Or, at the very least, an event that will limit participants. A line in the code informs users that “Netflix StreamFest is at capacity.”

Other than that, not much else is known. Besides making the entire library free, the platform can also launch exclusive content during the event, creating a teaser for any potential customers.

After India, Netflix might bring the event to other countries, especially to new or saturated markets. With everyone still stuck at home, the streaming platform is facing a huge potential market for growing its subscriber base.

SEE ALSO: Netflix faces charges for sexualizing children

Entertainment

TikTok is still most downloaded entertainment app amid controversies

In the United States and the Philippines

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What does the world think about the recent TikTok controversies? Throughout the entire year, the American government has hounded the Chinese video-sharing platform for alleged cybersecurity issues. Amid all the legalistic battles, the controversy aimed at a more cultural change: dissuade users from installing the app. Has that worked at all? Apparently, it hasn’t.

According to a study conducted by iPrice Group, TikTok is still the most downloaded entertainment app in the West and in Southeast Asia. Contrary to expectations, the platform is still popular in territories where it, theoretically, should have fallen.

The United States, the seat of the controversy, is on top, edging out China, TikTok’s own home country. Meanwhile, the other countries in the top ten are mostly in Europe or Southeast Asia.

Among this esteemed list, India remains on the eighth spot. The South Asian country recently banned the app back in August, making its entry a surprise. Although, since the survey was conducted between January to September, India will likely drop off in a future list.

The Philippines, on the other hand, is only on the 11th spot. The study suggests that the country was an early adopter before the 2020 surge. True enough, the Philippines hosted the platform during its early days. Back then, users went on singing duets with strangers. Now, TikTok is a hodgepodge of dancing trends and memes.

For most countries, Netflix trails not too far behind as the second-most downloaded entertainment app. The third spot is more varied including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is suing Trump

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Disney just released a Filipino Christmas video

Guaranteed to make you cry

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Though most Filipinos would argue for September, November marks the perfect staging ground for Christmas all over the world. Not too close but close enough, the month is the perfect time to celebrate the coming holidays with Christmas-themed media. Right on cue, Disney just released a Filipino Christmas video guaranteed to make you cry.

On the global company’s UK Facebook page, Disney introduced its ad for Christmas 2020. A breath of fresh air from the company’s usually American leanings, the ad starts of in 1940 Philippines on presumably Christmas Day or thereabouts. A Filipino child greets her father coming home from work. After being greeted with a mano, he gives her a Mickey Mouse doll.

Almost immediately, the child flashes forward to 2005 when she, now as a grandmother, has moved to the United Kingdom and shares the doll with her granddaughter. The lola-apo combo create a yearly Christmas tradition: crafting a parol while playing with the Mickey Mouse doll. Naturally, as the years go by, the apo grows up, finds other priorities in life, and leaves her lola alone for the first time. When she comes home, she finds… well, you’ll have to see for yourself. It’s a tearjerker.

(Bonus: if you want to add a more depressing layer to your Disney tears, 1940 was a year before Japan invaded the Philippines. The lola did not have a good time after that Christmas. That doesn’t even mention the strangely missing parents from 2005 onwards.)

Coupled with the upcoming film Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s Filipino ad sets up a more inclusive future for Southeast Asia in popular media. At the very least, it accurately portrays how beautiful a Filipino Christmas can be.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong Disneyland: A magical adventure

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Netflix is testing a Netflix channel

With scheduled programming

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Is it hard to find something to watch on Netflix? After months of staying at home, most of us would have already blazed through our backlog of old to-watch titles. If you’re in that all-too-familiar struggle for a new show to binge through, Netflix is brewing up a solution for you. Besides the newly introduced Shuffle feature, Netflix is testing a Netflix channel.

In France, the global streaming platform is testing a traditionally styled content channel called Netflix Direct, as reported by Variety. Available for Netflix subscribers, the linear channel will show content from Netflix’s content library through scheduled programming.

The new channel will eliminate the burden of choice — a welcome benefit for some users. “Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said.

Currently, the platform is testing the channel in France where cable television is still prominent. Though it already debuted officially, the channel will broadcast at a larger capacity sometime in December. If it performs well in France, the channel might debut in other territories.

Besides the linear channel, Netflix is also testing a “Shuffle Play” button, selecting a new recommended title for users after every use. With the new developments, the platform is slowly making it easier to watch new titles without getting bogged down in a flood of choices.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is offering some films and TV series for free

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