Netflix is no longer using a free trial membership to attract new subscribers in the U.S., having ended its free 30-day promo offer earlier in October.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed that the company has ended the 30-day free trial in the United States. “We’re looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” the rep said.
Netflix has introduced other ways to try to lure in new subs, including via the Netflix Watch Free site, launched in August, which offers a smattering of movies and episodes available free to stream without a membership.
Full movies available on Netflix’s Watch Free hub include Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box,” Adam Sandler comedy “Murder Mystery” and “The Two Popes” starring Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. For its original TV series, Netflix is making only the pilot episodes available for free, including those from “Stranger Things,” “Love Is Blind,” “Elite” and Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us.”
Outside the U.S., Netflix began phasing out free-trial offers in different markets two years ago, starting in Mexico. The company still offers free limited-time membership promotions in some countries, including South Korea.
Other subscription-streaming services typically also have used free trials as a customer-acquisition tool — but the strategies have varied widely.
This summer Disney ended its free seven-day promo trial for Disney Plus, just before it premiered “Hamilton” on the service. Meanwhile, on a standalone basis, Disney’s Hulu still offers free trials of varying lengths. Currently, Hulu’s $5.99 monthly plan with ads and the $11.99 monthly package without ads are free for one month to eligible subscribers. Hulu + Live TV, which starts at $54.99 per month, offers a free seven-day trial.
WarnerMedia’s HBO Max currently offers a seven-day free trial for the $15-per-month service. ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access (set to be rebranded Paramount Plus in 2021) also extends a one-week free period, and the company’s Showtime currently offers a 30-day free trial. Amazon continues to offer a free 30-day trial for Prime.
Apple has given away Apple TV Plus (regularly $4.99 monthly) free for 12 months to customers who buy one of the company’s new devices. Last week it said that Apple TV Plus customers whose free 12-month subscription is scheduled expire between Nov. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021, will continue have free access to the service through February 2021.