The days of bingeing a months-worth of streaming content for free are coming to an end, as Netflix has officially ended its free 30-day trials in the U.S. The free trial period had been used by the streamer to attract new subscribers, though Netflix has confirmed that it ended the trial period earlier in October.
The move was first spotted by the blog TV Answer Man, and a memo on Netflix's Help Page now confirms that would-be subscribers can no longer treat themselves to the trial period. Although that note confirms that "free trials are not available," Netflix says that "you can still sign up and take advantage of all Netflix has to offer." The streaming giant notes that "there are no contracts, no cancellation fees, and no commitments. You have the freedom to change your plan or cancel online at any time if you decide Netflix isn’t for you."
The free trial period, typically lasting either seven days or a 30 days, is a common tactic among streamers as well as premium channels in their efforts to hook new subscribers, though some have begun straying away from the ploy. Over the summer, just ahead of the debut of Hamilton, Disney+ ended its free seven-day promo, and Netflix has begun phasing out free-trial offers in different markets outside the U.S. over the past two years. In a statement to Variety, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that the company has ended the 30-day free trial in the United States, as the streamer is "looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience."
Among those new marketing promotions is the August-unveiled "Netflix Free Section." Currently the best alternative to the 30-day free trial, this section offers up some of the streamer's most popular titles for absolutely no cost, and a subscription is not required. In a statement to Gadgets 360 at the time, a Netflix spokesperson gave the same standard response as the one given to Variety regarding the end of trial periods.
The free section allows viewers to stream the full length of film titles such as Bird Box, Murder Mystery, and The Two Popes, which are among the most critically acclaimed and widely viewed titles on the platform. There is a catch, though, as when it comes to Netflix original series like Stranger Things, Love Is Blind, and others listed on the page, only the pilot episode is made available for viewing without a subscription.
Currently, Netflix offers three tiers of subscriptions. Ticking in at $8.99 per month, the basic plan allows subscribers to watch on one screen at a time, with HD and Ultra HD unavailable. The $12.99 per month standard plan allows subscribers to stream in HD on two screens at once. At $16.99 per month, the most expensive plan, the premium plan, allows for viewings on four screens at once, with Ultra HD available.