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Streaming Services With Free Trials — Watch Before Paying

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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, while deals and promotions tend to result in a cheaper price for a limited time, they can sometimes result in the removal of a free trial. Therefore, weighing up these points before subscribing can help to make the most of a service before having to make the first payment.

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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 free trials 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 greatly. In general, live TV services like DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV rarely offer longer than seven days for free. While many on-demand subscription services tend to offer a seven-day free trial, some let you watch for free for as long as 30 days.

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Streaming services with free trials

Below is a list of some of the more popular live TV and on-demand streaming services that offer a free trial to new users, in addition to the length of the free trial that’s currently available, as of January 2023.

Acorn TV

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$6.99/month
Sign up:Acorn TV

ALLBLK

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$5.99/month
Sign up:ALLBLK

AMC Plus

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$8.99/month
Sign up:AMC+

Apple TV Plus

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$6.99/month
Sign up:Apple TV+

BritBox

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$7.99/month
Sign up:BritBox

Crunchyroll (Premium)

Free trial length:14 days
Subscription cost:$7.99-$14.99/month
Sign up:Crunchyroll

DirecTV Stream

Free trial length:5 days
Subscription cost:$69.99-$149.99/month
Sign up:DirecTV Stream

Discovery Plus

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$4.99-$6.99/month
Sign up:Discovery+

Epix

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$5.99/month
Sign up:Epix

Frndly TV

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$6.99-$10.99/month
Sign up:Frndly TV

fuboTV

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$69.99-$99.99/month
Sign up:fuboTV

Hallmark Movies Now

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$5.99/month
Sign up:Hallmark Movies Now

History Vault

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$4.99/month
Sign up:History Vault

Hulu

Free trial length:30 days
Subscription cost:$7.99-$14.99/month
Sign up:Hulu

Lifetime Movie Club

Free trial length:30 days
Subscription cost:$4.99/month
Sign up:Lifetime Movie Club

Paramount Plus

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$4.99-$9.99/month
Sign up:Paramount+

Philo

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$25/month
Sign up:Philo

Prime Video

Free trial length:30 days
Subscription cost:$8.99/month
Sign up:Amazon

Showtime

Free trial length:30 days
Subscription cost:$10.99/month
Sign up:Showtime

Shudder

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$5.99/month
Sign up:Shudder

Sundance Now

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$6.99/month
Sign up:Sundance Now

UP Faith & Family

Free trial length:14 days
Subscription cost:$5.99/month
Sign up:UP Faith & Family

YouTube TV

Free trial length:7 days
Subscription cost:$64.99/month
Sign up:YouTube TV

Although some services don’t offer a free trial directly, it is sometimes possible to gain access to one through another service. As an 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.

As another example, Curiosity Stream doesn’t offer a free trial when signing up directly, but consumers can also sign up through Prime Video Channels and watch Curiosity Stream for free for the first 7 days.

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Before signing up for a free trial

There are some caveats to be aware of before signing up for a free trial, and one of the most important is that most streaming services employ automatic billing. This usually requires consumers to add a payment method before getting access to the service, and when the free trial comes to an end, the first payment is automatically charged to the method on file. The only way to avoid this happening is to cancel the subscription before the end of the free period.

Another point to be aware of is that only one free trial is typically allowed per account and are 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 does 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, providing an option to watch 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 to avoid automatically being billed for the first month.

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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 paying. The exact duration of a free trial will depend on the individual service, although most tend to offer either 7 or 30 days.

To sign up to a free trial, most services will require the user to add a payment method and this is typically automatically 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 be available through a third-party service, such as Prime Video Channels or The Roku Channel.

Originally published April, 2022

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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