This is a clever marketing move for the streaming service, which costs $7.99 a month in the U.S. Netflix says this morning that for the month of February it will enable non-subscribers to see the first episode of its first original series, House Of Cards, at this web address. Members can see all 13 episodes of the political drama that stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara beginning today. Investors and analysts will be looking to see how the production affects Netflix’s subscriptions. The company enables new customers to try the service for one month free, and doesn’t restrict people’s ability to drop out. “Because we make it easy, they don’t feel trapped by a contract and it’s very easy for them to come back in the service when their lifestyle warrants signing up again,” CFO David Wells told analysts in a conference call last month. Execs talked down the likely benefit from House Of Cards. “Some of us are optimistic that it may in fact be substantial, but we really don’t know and we don’t want to count on it until it happens,” CEO Reed Hastings said. Wells added that marketing efforts will be focused on “influencers in big markets.” House Of Cards is produced by Media Rights Capital.
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