Netflix Cancels Free One-Month Trials in the U.S.

Anyone who is not already a Netflix subscriber will no longer have the option to try before they buy. The world’s most popular streaming service has officially ended its 30-day free trial promotion in the U.S. and throughout much of the world. A spokesperson for the company has confirmed the news, saying that they are now exploring different marketing strategies to attract new customers.

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”

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Netflix began doing away with free trials a couple of years back starting with Mexico. The company’s current, most popular plan goes for $12.99 per month. They are, more or less, giving away that much in potential revenue every time someone signs up for a free trial. In a similar move, Disney recently announced that Disney+ will no longer be offering a seven-day free trial for its service. But Hulu, which is also owned by Disney, still has an offer that gives customers a free month for its ad-free and ad-supported versions. Hulu with the live TV option is limited to a week.

This year has seen the streaming landscape become more crowded than ever. Not only did Disney+ and Apple TV+ enter the fold in November of last year, but both HBO Max and Peacock launched this year as well. Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access and other niche services like Shudder and The Criterion Channel are vying for customers as well. Not to mention Quibi which has, thus far, failed to catch on and may already be looking for a buyer. It seems, increasingly, the idea of offering free trials is a thing of the past.

Even in the face of great competition, Netflix is far ahead of the rest of the pack. The company has around 200 million subscribers worldwide. Disney is catching up quickly, with Disney+ amassing more than 60 million subscribers in under a year. Disney has more than 100 million subscribers between all of its streaming services. That, coupled with the downfall of movie theaters brought on by 2020, prompted Disney to completely reorganize its media business recently to focus on the direct-to-consumer market. 30 days of free content is, it seems, not the most effective way to attract new customers for the two biggest players in the game.

It remains unclear what strategies Netflix will implement in the free trial’s place. The company launched a new website in August that offers a wide range of marquee content, such as Bird Box, Murder Mystery and The Two Popes, for free. Similarly, Peacock launched with a free, ad-supported version. The idea seems to be collect some ad money in the hopes of converting users into paying customers. The difference with Netflix, as was recently re-asserted, is that they have no plans of running ads any time soon. The company’s revenue will continue to come from monthly subscriptions, with no more freebies. This news was first reported by The TV Answer Man.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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