Netflix makes first episode of Olivia Colman-fronted ‘The Crown’ free to UK viewers

The Crown S3

Netflix is making the first episode of the Olivia Colman-fronted third season of The Crown free for UK users.

The streaming giant has set up a dedicated website for the free episode, which is set to launch at the same time as the rest of the season later this week on 17 November. The episode will be made available until 15 December.

The highly anticipated third season of the Left Bank Pictures-produced programme is viewed as a reimagining of the drama – and thus the perfect moment to draw in new viewers – as it welcomes a new cast of characters playing the Royal Family. Oscar-winning Colman makes her debut as Queen Elizabeth II while The Terror’s Tobias Menzies plays the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Crown, which launched in the autumn of 2016, was the first global Netflix original to be produced and filmed in the UK. This footprint has now expanded to more than 40 productions out of the market and a $500m-plus spend on UK productions.

Netflix most recently employed a first-episode-free strategy in India, where it offered the debut episode of the series Bard Of Blood on a separate site for a limited time.

At the time, the business said it would consider doing this for other series and potentially even films as well.

Earlier this year, Netflix also offered a free episode of Spanish original series Elite to Mexican audiences.

A Netflix spokesperson said: “The Crown has become a globally-renowned British success story since it first launched on Netflix three years ago. We want to give as many people as possible a flavour of the great content Netflix is creating here in the UK, by offering the first instalment of the new series without signing up.”

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