Free trials are a great way to test out a streaming service before having to pay. While many streaming services do offer the option of a free trial, not all do. In addition, although some deals and promotions tend to result in a cheaper price for a limited time, they sometimes remove the option of a free trial. Weighing up these points before subscribing can help to make the most of a service before having to pay.
Streaming services can offer good value for money with the ability to watch shows and movies without having to pay for a more expensive live TV service. However, with the number of streaming services now available, subscribing to too many can quickly become expensive. At the same time, the sheer number of services can make it hard to choose between them.
This is where a free trial can be invaluable. For a brief period of time, a consumer can get unlimited access to a service and stream as many shows and movies as they want. Although most streaming services do provide a free trial, the exact length of time can vary. In general, live TV services like DirecTV Stream rarely offer longer than seven days for free. While many on-demand subscription services also tend to offer a seven-day free trial, some offer as long as 30 days for free.
Below is a list of some of the more popular services that currently offer a free trial to consumers as well as the length of the free trial that’s available.
|Service||Free trial length|
|Acorn TV||7 days|
|Apple TV+||7 days|
|DirecTV Stream||7 days|
|Frndly TV||7 days|
|Hallmark Movies Now||7 days|
|History Vault||7 days|
|Lifetime Movie Club||7 days|
|Prime Video||30 days|
|UP Faith & Family||14 days|
|YouTube TV||7 days|
It is worth noting that although some services don’t offer a free trial directly, sometimes it is possible to gain access through another service. For example, HBO Max no longer offers a free trial when signing up through the app or the website. However, if signing up through a service like YouTube TV, it is possible to watch HBO Max for free for 7 days. Likewise, Curiosity Stream doesn’t offer a free trial directly, but consumers can watch for free for 7 days when signing up through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels service.
Before signing up for a free trial
Signing up for a free trial can be a great way to test out a service before having to pay. However, there are some caveats to be aware of and one of the most important is that most streaming services employ automatic billing. This means consumers will likely need to add a payment method to their account before getting access to the free period. This also means that once the free trial has come to an end, the first payment will automatically be charged to the method on file. This is unless the subscription is canceled before that time.
Another point to be aware of is that only one free trial is typically allowed per account and the option is usually reserved for new subscribers. In other words, if someone has previously signed up to a service, and irrespective of whether they took advantage of a free trial before, they normally won’t be eligible for a free trial when returning. Sometimes services will offer a free trial to returning subscribers, but this is a miles may vary situation, and will depend on the time and the service.
In situations where a consumer can’t take advantage of a free trial, due to having already signed up before, a third-party service might be able to help. Similar to the situation where no free trial is available directly, free trials through services like Prime Video Channels and The Roku Channel can still be used, making it possible to sign up and watch for a limited time before behaving to pay. Again, if using a third-party service to access a free trial, it is important to cancel before the free trial ends if the intention is not to continue with a paid subscription.
Free trials summary
With the number of streaming services now available, it can be difficult to figure out which services are right for an individual or household. However, many of the most popular services do offer a free trial making it possible to test out the service before having to pay. The exact duration of the free trial will depend on the individual service but tends to either be 7 or 30 days.
To sign up to a free trial, most services will require the consumer to add a payment method which will automatically be charged once the free trial has come to an end. If a free trial is unavailable, either due to the service not offering one or the consumer having previously been a subscriber, it is possible that a free trial may still be available through another service, such as Prime Video Channels or The Roku Channel.