We’re streaming more content than ever. A recent Nielsen report said that since the quarantine started in March 2020, streaming on televisions is up 85 percent, leading to an estimated grand total of 400 billion minutes of streamed TV minutes. (Oddly, people are streaming less music now that we’re home.) This means that you’ve likely exhausted most of the movies and shows that your current service, be it Netflix or Apple TV+, is offering, and you’re wondering what else is out there.
We’ve rounded up the most popular streaming services (including movies, shows and music) and what free trials they are currently offering. That way you can try something out without having to hand over your hard-earned dough.
Movies and Shows
The free trial: There is no longer a free trial of HBO Max. When the streaming service first launched in May 2020, HBO had offered a 7-day free trial, but this stopped being offered in December 2021.
Normal costs: A subscription to HBO Max costs $15/month. HBO recently launched a cheaper version of HBO Max, which costs $10/month, but it comes with ads and doesn’t support 4K or offline downloads.
The free trial: Netflix no longer offers a free trial. It had previously offered a free one-month (30-day) free trial, but it ended that promotion in October 2020.
Normal costs: Netflix offers three different plans. The Basic Plan costs $9/month, allows one person to be signed on at a time, and it delivers up to an SD quality stream. The Standard plan costs $15.50/month, allows two people to be streaming at once, and delivers up to an HD quality stream. And the Premium plan costs $20/month, allows four people to be streaming at once, and delivers up to an Ultra HD quality stream.
The free trial: YouTube Premium offers a 1-month (30-day) free trial for first time subscribers.
Normal costs: YouTube Premium costs $12/month after the free trial is over. Subscribers get ad-free access to all YouTube and YouTube Music content.
The free trial: First-time subscribers get a 7-day free trial when they sign up for Discovery+.
Normal costs: There are two different tiers for paying Discovery+ subscribers. A $5/month subscription still comes with advertisements, while $7/month subscription is completely ad-free.
The free trial: Hulu offers a 1-month (30-day) free trial of its standard service or a 7-day free trial of its Hulu and Live TV package.
Normal costs: Hulu offers four different plans. Hulu Basic costs $7/month and gets you access to most of Hulu’s content, but there will be ads. Hulu Premium (No Ads) costs $13/month and gets subscribers ad-free content to most of Hulu’s content. You can bundle the Basic and Premium (No Ads) plans with Hulu’s Live TV package, ESPN+ and Disney+ for $70/month and $76/month, respectively.
Amazon Prime Video
The free trial: If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get a free premium subscription of Amazon Prime Video.
Normal costs: If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, a subscription to Amazon Prime Video costs $9/month. (Amazon Prime costs $13/month or $6.50/month for students.)
The free trial: Disney offers a 7-day (30-day) free trial of Disney+ when you first sign up.
Normal costs: Disney+ costs $8/ month or $80/year. You can bundle a subscription with ESPN+ and Hulu for $14/month, here.
The free trial: You get a 1-year free trial of Apple TV+ when you buy a new Apple device. If you haven’t bought a new Apple device, you can get a 7-day free trial.
(Note: Apple extended its free trial period for people who first signed up for Apple TV+ until July 2021, meaning they actually get a 21-month free trial.)
Normal costs: Apple TV+ costs only $5/month or $50/year, and that includes Family Sharing.
Paramount Plus (Previously CBS All Access)
The free trial: Paramount Plus offers a 7-day free trial when you first sign up for a monthly plan.
Normal costs: Paramount Plus offers two different plans. The Essential plans costs $5/month and, since it’s “ad-supported,” you will see a limited amount of commercials. The Premium plan costs $10/month and gets you no ads (unless you’re watching live TV); you can also download shows to watch later.
The free trial: NFL+ Premium is the new and rebranded name of NFL Game Pass. Like before, it offers a 7-day free trial.
Normal costs: NFL+ costs $5/month. NFL+ Premium costs $10/month and allows you to watch full game replays.
The free trial: ESPN no longer offers a free trial for its ESPN+ service.
Normal costs: ESPN+ costs $10/month or $100/year. You can bundle a subscription with Hulu and Disney+ for $14/month or $20/month (the more expensive option gets you an ad-free Hulu subscription).
The free trial: Spotify offers a 3-month (90-day) free trial of Spotify Premium, its ad-free service. You can get the same deal if you sign up for PayPal. If you’ve been a Spotify Premium subscriber in the past, you are ineligible for the free trial.
Normal costs: Spotify Premium currently costs $10/month for an individual play. A Duo plan, which is two Premium accounts that’s designed for “a couple under one roof, costs $13/month. A Family plan, which includes up to six Premium accounts for “family members living under one roof,” costs $16/month. There are $5/month plans for students, too.
The free trial: Apple Music offers a one-month (30-day) free trial to first time subscribers, but you can actually get up to four months free if you buy through Best Buy.
Normal costs: Apple Music currently costs $10/month for individuals, $15/month for a family plan, or $5/month for college students. There’s also a Voice plan for Apple Music that costs $5/month but only allows you to play music through Siri (it’s an option for HomePod mini owners who really only want to play music at home).
The free trial: Tidal offers a 30-day free trial to new subscribers of its HiFi and Plus plans.
Normal costs: Tidal Free is a free streaming service that allows you to listen to non-lossless tracks (160 kbps) and with commercials. Tidal HiFi costs $10/month and allows you to listen to lossless tracks (up to 1411 kbps) without ads. Tidal HiFi Plus is the most premium service, costing $20/month, and allows you to listen to Master Quality tracks (up to 9216 kbps), and it gives you audio that supports Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
The free trial: Pandora offers a 60-day free trial of Pandora Plus and a 60-day free trial of Pandora Premium.
Normal costs: Pandora Plus costs $5/month and users can skip unlimited songs and download some songs for offline listening. Pandora Premium costs $10/month and allows subscribers to have everything the Plus plan offers, but they can download unlimited songs and they can also create and share playlists.
Amazon Music Unlimited
The free trial: New subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited get a 3-month free trial.
Normal costs: Amazon Music Unlimited costs $8/month for Prime members or $10/month for non-members.
The free trial: Deezer offers a one month (30-day) free trial of both its paid subscription plays: Deezer Premium and Deezer Hi-Fi.
Normal costs: Deezer Premium costs $11/month and allows you to listen to FLAC tracks in lossless quality. There is a Free plan for non-lossless audio.
The free trial: Qobuz offers a 30-day free trial for new users of its main subscription plan (called Studio Premier).
Normal costs: A subscription to Qobuz Studio (its pain plan) costs $11/month. Its Sublime plan, which allows you to purchase high-resolution audio tracks for up to 60% off, costs $15/month.