Are Free Streaming Trials Over?

Netflix canceled its free trial and they’re not the only streaming service to do that.

Hey, streamers! Have you heard that Netflix recently discontinued its free 30-day trail for new customers? You probably haven’t because the streaming service pulled this offer from its website without any announcement. If you don’t have Netflix but want it, you’ll have to sign up for a plan that starts at $8.99/month. The streaming service nixed its free offer because…

…Netflix Thinks it’s too Big to Fail

Streaming services offer free trials for a reason. That reason is to get YOU hooked on enough programming to make you want to subscribe. Netflix execs probably think that their service gets so much attention from its original series and movies that people will sign up without the freebies. Do they have a point? Well, Netflix reported more than 190 million global subscribers as of July 2020. If I had a streaming service and I was pulling in those numbers, I might not offer a free trial either. Why would I need to?

Disney Thinks So, Too

It appears that Netflix got this idea from Disney+. Earlier this year, the Mickey Mouse streaming service quit offering its free week pass. They did this just before the premiere of Hamilton, though I’m sure that was just a coincidence. It worked out to Disney’s benefit though. The TV version of the hit Broadway musical gained about 458,000 new paying viewers in the U.S. Another 780,000 signed up from around the world. (These numbers reflect mobile app downloads only.)

While Disney+ cashed in on Hamilton, what happened with its live-action Mulan? You might remember that the streaming service was charging subscribers an extra $29.99 for premiere access to the movie. In a previous blog post, I boldly stated, “Only those who REALLY want to see this live-action remake will shell out the cash.” Well, I was right, but in the way I thought.

Thanks to Mulan, Disney+ enjoyed a 68% increase in subscriptions on the movie’s opening weekend. Not only that, but the remake earned $35.5 million from subscribers. All of that was net profit for Disney because the corporation didn’t have to pay distribution fees to show it in movie theaters. No wonder Disney believes it doesn’t need to offer free trials anymore!

Who Has a Free Streaming Trial?

HBO Max does, and it’s a good one. You get seven days for free then sign up for rates started at $14.99/month. There is a huge selection of original programming and more on HBO’s newest version. The best part about HBO Max is that to date, there hasn’t been any extra fees to see shows. You get everything you pay for with this streaming service. If you have it, you know this. If you don’t, why not try it out for free to see how great it is?

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.