One of the ways that Netflix has tried to get the attention of cord-cutters and streaming newbies the past few years is by offering various free trial options. They have offered seven-day and even 30-day free trials to entice people to eventually subscribe to their video streaming service once they’ve gotten a taste of what is inside the library. There are no numbers as to how many of these who tried the free trials eventually subscribed, but we’re guessing it may be significant.
So it’s pretty surprising that amidst all the new competitors around, Netflix has oh so quietly removed the free trial option from the app. Actually, they have started removing that in other countries the past few months but now it has become more noticeable since the free trial button has disappeared in the U.S. According to The Verge, Netflix has said they will be looking at “different marketing promotions” to be able to attract new subscribers.
Just recently, Netflix made available some first episodes of famous original shows as well as a bunch of movies which people can access for free, without signing up or signing in. This is probably part of that new content sampling model that they’re trying out to get people hooked. They’ve also been posting some educational content on YouTube. There’s a whole playlist of educational documentaries that teachers and parents can use with their students and kids.
With the availability of so many streaming platforms right now, it’s a bit strange that Netflix decided to do away with the free trial. Apple has actually extended their initial free period for Apple TV to three months. Both Quibi and Disney+ launched with free trials although they have both since then ended this practice. Netflix may have seen it’s getting a bit crowded and trial subscriptions weren’t getting them the numbers they wanted.
Netflix has said that even if the free trials are not available, you can always sign up for a month to see what they have to offer. There’s no lock in period so you can just change your plan or cancel any time you decide it’s not something you would want to spend on every month. It’s a gamble but let’s see if it eventually pays off for them.