Netflix ends free trials in the US after years of giving away first month

netflix-logo-phone-6449

Try it free? Not anymore, apparently.


Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix has ended free trials for new customers in the US, after years of giving away the first month of its service free. The streaming service’s US sign-up page said trials are no longer available, with Netflix instead touting how it lets you cancel anytime at no cost. Newer rivals tend to offer shorter free-trial periods, though some of Netflix’s biggest, longstanding competitors still offer an introductory month free. 

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions in the United States to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokeswoman said Tuesday. The end of free trials in the US was reported earlier Tuesday by TV Answer Man. 

Netflix, the world’s biggest subscription video service with more than 192 million paying members, was increasingly an outlier among its rivals by offering a month-long free trial. As a raft of new rival services have launched in the last year, many set their free trial periods at a single week, including HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. And Disney Plus, as strong growth lifted its number of subscribers above its initial projections way earlier than expected, stopped offering free trials altogether in June. 

Other established apps like CBS All Access and Starzlimit their free trials to seven days too. Hulu Showtime and Amazon Prime, however, still offer a month free to new subscribers. (Note: CBS All Access and Showtime are owned by ViacomCBS, the parent company of CNET.)

Even Netflix itself had already begun phasing out free trials elsewhere in the world, starting in Mexico two years ago. Netflix free trials are still available in some select markets. 

Sorry, No More Free Trials

Illustration for article titled Netflix Thinks Its So Great You Dont Even Need to Check Out How Great It Is

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP (Getty Images)

If you haven’t yet subscribed to any of the major streaming services, first I have to ask: How have you avoided them? Second: You’ve missed the boat when it comes to trying the biggest names for free.

Streaming giant Netflix quietly did away with its 30-day trial in the U.S., according to CNET, just like Disney+, which stopped offering free trials back in June. The U.S. is not the only market where Netflix has decided to end its free trial. The company ended trial periods in Mexico and several other countries as far back as two years ago.

“Free trials are not available, but you can still sign up and take advantage of all Netflix has to offer,” Netflix’s free trial help page now reads. In a statement to CNET, a Netflix spokesperson said the company is currently looking at differen marketing promotions in the U.S. to “attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”

If you’re disappointed, that’s understandable. Who doesn’t like to get something for free, even if it’s for a limited time? If you’re planning on signing up for your own Netflix account, you’ll need to shell out a minimum of $9 month.

This might have to do with the fact that Netflix is currently offering specific TV shows and movies to watch for free, which it began doing in August. Current free titles include Stranger Things, Bird Box, and When They See Us, which, honestly, are worth watching whether you want to pay for Netflix or not.

It’s also worth noting that several other streaming services still offer free trials. Hulu offers one month free, while CBS All Access, Shudder, and

Netflix ends free trials in the US

netflix-logo-phone-6449

Try it free? Not anymore, apparently.


Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix has ended free trials for new customers in the US, after years of giving away the first month of its service free. The streaming service’s US sign-up page said trials are no longer available, with Netflix instead touting how it lets you cancel anytime at not cost.

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions in the United States to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokeswoman said Tuesday. The end of free trials in the US was reported earlier Tuesday by TV Answer Man. 

Netflix, the world’s biggest subscription video service with more than 192 million paying members, was increasingly an outlier among its rivals by offering a month-long free trial. As a raft of new rival services have launched in the last year, many set their free trial periods at a single week, including HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. And Disney Plus, as strong growth lifted its number of subscribers above its initial projections way earlier than expected, stopped offering free trials altogether in June. 

Other established apps like CBS All Access and Starzlimit their free trials to seven days too. Hulu and Showtime, however, still offer a month free to new subscribers. (Note: CBS All Access and Showtime are owned by ViacomCBS, the parent company of CNET.)

Even Netflix itself had already begun phasing out free trials elsewhere in the world, starting in Mexico two years ago. Netflix free trials are still available in some select markets. 

Read more: Every streaming service ranked: Disney Plus vs. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Peacock, HBO Max and Hulu


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Apple Extends Apple TV+ Free Trials Through February 2021

KEY POINTS

  • Apple TV+ is nearing the end of its free trial period
  • However, Apple has decided to extend Apple TV+’s free trial period through February next year
  • This can entice more consumers to try out the streaming service

Apple launched Apple TV+ last year alongside the iPhone 11 series. At the time, the Cupertino tech giant said it will offer one free year of Apple TV+ to those who will buy new devices. Those who did buy new iPhones were able to enjoy the company’s TV offerings without having to pay a cent.

The free trial period is almost nearing its end, but Apple told TechCrunch that it is extending the free subscription period by a few more months and will bill subscribers starting February 2021.

The report said the extension includes everyone whose Apple TV+ free trials are set to end on Nov. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021. Those whose free trials are scheduled to end on Nov. 15, 2020, for example, will have their first billing date on Feb. 15, 2021, and so on.

TechCrunch added that Apple’s decision to extend free trials includes those who subscribed to the service without purchasing a new device. These subscribers will also be able to enjoy Apple TV+ for free until February next year.

In addition, those who paid for a monthly or annual Apple TV+ plan will receive credits worth $4.99 for each month through February. These credits can be used for other things such as purchases made via the iOS App Store.

Apple will send emails to customers informing them of the extension period, per TechCrunch. The Cupertino tech giant might explain the mechanics to help consumers better understand how it works.

Reasons

It’s currently unclear why Apple decided to push back the end of Apple TV+’s

COVID-19 clinical trials hit as ransomware targets medical software company

Clinical trials into a COVID-19 vaccine as well as research into other diseases have been delayed following a ransomware attack on a company that provides software to medical firms.

First reported Saturday by The New York Times, the attack targeted eResearchTechnology Inc., a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in clinical software. The attack is said to have been detected two weeks ago when employees discovered they were locked out of their data by ransomware.

As a result of the ransomware attack, companies using ERT’s software were also affected. Among those were IQVIA Inc., a research organization helping managing AstraZeneca plc’s coronavirus vaccine trial, and Bristol Myers Squibb Co., a drug company leading a consortium of companies developing a quick COVID-19 test.

Clinical trial patients were not affected, but researchers were forced to resort to pen and paper to track patients.

How many companies and health organizations have been affected is unknown. The Times noted that the software is used in drug trials across Europe, Asia and North America. Three-quarters of trials that led to drug approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration use ERT software, according to the Times.

The form of malware is unknown. ERT ticked the box of regular ransomware responses — taking its systems offline, calling in outside cybersecurity experts and contacting the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Attacks on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic have been growing as ransomware groups attempt to leverage the serious situation to gain payments. “Healthcare is the richest target for hackers, who are never going to let the proverbial crisis go to waste,” Colin Bastable, chief executive officer of security awareness training firm Lucy Security AG, recently told SiliconANGLE. “The pandemic is going to be a big payday for many cybercriminals and state-backed bad actors.”

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