FuboTV has reduced its free trial period from seven days to one day, another example of live streaming services experimenting with new ways to generate subscribers and increase revenue.
Sling TV last week eliminated its free trial and replaced it with a $10 off the first month offer. DIRECTV Stream last month initiated a five-day free trial after forgoing free trials a year ago, and the streamer is now running a $10 off the first three months limited time offer. YouTubeTV has featured a $14.99 for the first month deal to select customers and FuboTV in recent weeks has also tested quarterly-only packages and a higher base rate of $69.99 a month instead of the usual $64.99 a month.
Update: YouTube TV has also reduced its free trial, from five days to two days.
Update #2: FuboTV says its one-day free trial will end Monday, March 28.
Update #3: FuboTV on Monday (March 28) changed the 1-day trial back to seven days. YouTube TV still has a 2-day trial.
While cord-cutters like that live streaming services don’t require contracts, and feature prices lower than cable or satellite, the industry has not flourished the way some analysts thought it would. Seven years after the first live streamer launched (Sling TV in February 2015), the category still has fewer than 15 million subscriptions with Hulu Live and YouTube TV leading the way with slightly more than four million each.
With competition among the five major live streamers getting more intense, they seem to be searching for a way to sustain a business until a bigger audience develops.
For FuboTV, the one-day free trial will force potential customers to make a quicker decision regarding whether they want to subscribe. This could prevent cord cutters from using the free trial as a cheap way to watch several days of programming without intending to sign up.
Here are the current free trial offers of the five leading live streaming services:
Hulu Live — No free trial
FuboTV — One-day free trial
YouTube TV — Two-day free trial
DIRECTV Stream — Five-day free trial
Sling TV — No free trial
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— Phillip Swann