Q. Hey, I went to Netflix last night to do a free trial for their service, but I couldn’t find the free trial button anywhere. Do you know what’s up with that? Do they still have free trials? — Tony, Las Vegas.
Tony, over the years, Netflix has offered seven-day free trials and even occasionally a 30-day free trial. The company has said the free tryout helps persuade people to subscribe.
However, if you look at the site now, you will not find a ‘Free Trial’ button. Why? Because Netflix has quietly ended the free trial.
“Free trials are not available, but you can still sign up and take advantage of all Netflix has to offer,” Netflix states. “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. As a Netflix member, all our plans give you access to our full catalog of TV shows and movies. Choose a plan that works for you and sign up for Netflix!
The world’s leading streaming service does not provide a reason for the change. (The TV Answer Man will ask Netflix later today for a clarification.)
However, it could be because Netflix is concerned that more consumers will use the free trial as a way to get free television for a week during a time when the streaming category is getting increasingly crowded. Netflix is now facing such deep-pocketed competitors as Disney (Disney Plus, Hulu), Comcast (Peacock), AT&T (HBO Max) and Amazon (Amazon Prime).
The company may feel that removing the free trial will generate more revenue. If so, Netflix might also reconsider its liberal policy for password sharing.
It’s also worth noting that Disney Plus ended its free trial in June.
The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if we get more information.
Netflix today released this statement regarding the elimination of the free trial:
“We’re looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann