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

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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. 

Netflix Thinks It’s So Great You Don’t Even Need to Check Out How Great It Is

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.



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© Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP (Getty Images)


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.

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“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 HBO Max offer a free week. And Peacock offers an entire free

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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