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How to Get Free Trials from the 22 Best Video Streaming Services

With more and more digital streaming services to choose from, it's important to know which ones are free.
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What's better than binge-watching all your favorite shows? Doing it for free.

While there are myriad streaming services out there these days, you should get the most for your money by looking for ones that offer free trials and still have the content you want to watch.

To that end, we're taking a look at the most popular streaming services out there with free trial periods to find out what they have to offer.

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On-Demand TV and Movies

1. Netflix

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: $8.99 to $15.99/month

The streaming juggernaut has become just as well-known for its original series as its massive collection of mainstream TV shows and films. Plans start at $8.99 per month, and customers can enjoy their first month free with zero commitments.

Sign Up for Netflix

2. Amazon Prime Video

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: Free with Prime membership ($13/month or $119/year)

Amazon Prime Video is included in your Prime membership at no extra cost, although you can also subscribe to 100+ premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, CBS All Access, MLB.TV and Cinemax.

The service lets you pay for the channels you want and cancel anytime with no cable required — and your first 30 days are on the house.

Sign Up for Amazon Prime Video

3. HBO NOW

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $14.99/month

HBO NNOW offers new movies each week, plus talk shows, documentaries and more for a monthly fee of $14.99, along with a seven-day free trial.

Sign Up for HBO NOW

4. STARZ

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $8.99/month or $75/year

With acclaimed original series like Outlander, STARZ promises unlimited HD streaming and downloads of hit movies, TV shows and bonus content.

You can save 30% by choosing a discounted annual subscription, or pay $8.99 per month with no long-term contract. Either way, you can binge-watch at no cost with a seven-day free trial.

Sign Up for STARZ

5. SHOWTIME

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days (or 30 days with Hulu subscription or Roku device)
  • Cost: $10.99/month

SHOWTIME's streaming service gives you "instant access to commercial-free, award-winning series, movies and sports."

Try it free for seven days, and then pay $10.99 per month. If you have a Hulu subscription or own a Roku device, however, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial instead.

Sign Up for SHOWTIME

6. YouTube Premium

  • Free Trial Period: Two months
  • Cost: $11.99/month

Experience YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube Originals ad-free with a YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) subscription.

The company offers a two month long free trial followed by a fee of $11.99 per month once the trial ends. You can also choose from a $17.99/month family plan that accommodates up to six family members (ages 13+) in the same household or a student plan that costs $6.99 per month.

Sign Up for YouTube Premium

Live TV

7. Hulu

Streaming Services: Hulu

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: $5.99 to $11.99/month

Launched in 2008, Hulu is "the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network."

That means you can browse libraries of hit TV series and films all in one place for just $5.99 per month — or $11.99 for the ad-free version. Give it a try with a free one-month trial and no strings attached.

Sign Up for Hulu

8. Sling TV

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $25 to $40/month (or $15 to $25/month for three months with current offer)

Sling TV gives its subscribers "live TV, only better" by letting them personalize channels as they please.

Plans range from $25 to $40 per month with the first seven days free, but new subscribers can actually take 40% off their first three months for a limited time.

Sign Up for Sling TV

9. AT&T TV Now (Formerly DirecTV Now)

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days 
  • Cost: $50 to $70/month

For $50 to $70 per month, AT&T TV Now gives you 40 to 50+ channels, including HBO.

The service typically lets new subscribers try their streaming plans for seven days free of charge, but new accounts can occasionally a free month with promo codes. Remember to set a Deal Alert for AT&T TV Now if you're interested in a longer trial.

Sign Up for DirecTV Now

10. CBS All Access

  • Regular Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Limited-Time Offer: One Month
  • Cost: $5.99-$9.99/month or $61.10-$101.90/year

CBS All Access makes it "easier than ever to access the shows you love from America’s #1 network — live and on demand."

You can stream more than 10,000 episodes of your favorite shows, as well as live sports broadcasts, special events and 24/7 news via CBSN. Subscribers can choose from commercial-free or limited-commercial plans with their first week completely free. Keep in mind that an annual subscription nets you a 15% discount.

That said, you might only need a seven-day free trial to binge all of Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot.

Sign Up for CBS All-Access

11. PlayStation Vue

  • Free Trial Period: Five days
  • Cost: $44.99 to $79.99/month

Try a five-day free trial of PlayStation Vue's Access, Core or Elite plans to enjoy "the most extraordinary streaming experience in live TV" with local news, live sports and 85+ TV channels.

This service comes with Cloud DVR space that lets you store unlimited episodes for 28 days, and you don't need a PlayStation console to subscribe. Regular plans start at a pretty steep $44.99 per month.

Sign Up for PlayStation Vue

12. Xfinity Instant TV

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: $34.99 to $49.99/month

Xfinity's Internet plus Instant TV service offers a generous 30-day free trial and grants you access to top networks, live sports and local news with various channel packs so you can customize your experience.

The service also includes Cloud DVR space and starts at $34.99 per month.

Sign Up for Xfinity Instant TV

13. Philo

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $16 to $20/month

You can try Philo risk-free for seven days to see if its streaming collection of 57 channels and unlimited recordings is right for you. Be aware, however, that the service isn't great if you're interested in sports or the news.

Monthly plans range from $16 to $20.

Sign Up for Philo

Cartoons and Anime

14. Boomerang

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $4.99/month or $39.99/year

Boomerang makes every day feel like Saturday morning (before 2014, anyway) with its streaming selection of new and classic cartoons and zero ads.

Indulge your inner child with old-school favorites like Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, Garfield, Looney Tunes, Popeye, Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny. Your first week is totally free, and plans start at just $4.99 per month (or $39.99 per year).

Sign Up for Boomerang

15. VRV

Streaming Services: VRV

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: $9.99/month

Considered "the best in anime, gaming, tech, cartoons and more," VRV features exclusive series and new episodes of your favorite shows with no ads getting in the way. Plus, it includes access to Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Cartoon Hangover and more.

You'll pay $9.99 after your 30-day free trial if you choose to continue your subscription.

Sign Up for VRV

16. Crunchyroll

  • Free Trial Period: 14 days
  • Cost: $7.99/month

Love anime and manga? Crunchyroll is for you.

This streaming service simulcasts "fresh from Japan" with ad-free shows in HD. Experience your first two weeks free of charge with monthly rates starting at $7.99 thereafter. It really is the most efficient way to watch My Hero Academia.

Sign Up for Crunchyroll

17. DC Universe

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $7.99/month or $74.99/year

DC Universe offers a comprehensive collection of DC movies, animated series, shorts and specials. It's available on iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and the Roku platform, as well as the web and mobile web, with more platforms coming soon.

Try it for free with a seven-day trial, and choose to continue your subscription for either $7.99 per month or $74.99 per year (a 20% savings).

Sign Up for DC Universe

Horror & Suspense

18. Shudder

  • Free Trial Period: 30 days
  • Cost: $4.75/month or $47.88/year

Horror lovers, rejoice. Shudder TV lets you stream your favorite thrillers and slasher movies for one low monthly fee of $4.75.

You can also pay upfront for an annual membership to drop the price to just $3.99 a month instead. For a limited time, new subscribers can also use promo code SIGNAL to enjoy a free 30-day trial.

And you can set a Deal Alert with us to make sure you don't miss any more Shudder promos in the future.

Sign Up for Shudder

Sports

19. ESPN+

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $4.99/month

ESPN+ lets you "experience live sports like never before" thanks to its selection of live games from MLB, MLS, NHL and more.

If you love watching live UFC Fight Nights or your favorite college teams in action, you can try this streaming service on the house for seven days, and then pay $4.99 per month commitment-free.

Sign Up for ESPN+

20. fuboTV

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $55-$60/month

fuboTV offers a mix of live sports and TV without the need for cable. It's also your best option for checking out international soccer games, as well as MLS.

With more than 100 channels and 30 free hours of Cloud DVR space, you can use this streaming service to "record what you love and access it from anywhere." You can even replay any game, show or movie that aired within the last three days.

The base monthly cost is a hefty $55 but you can try it for free for your first week.

Sign Up for fuboTV

International Content

21. Rakuten Viki

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $4.17/month or $49.99/year

Rakuten Viki describes itself as "a global TV site where millions of people discover, watch and subtitle global primetime shows and movies in more than 200 languages." If you're looking to sate your need for Korean dramas, this is the streaming service for you.

Plans start at $4.17 per month or $49.99 per year, but you can try it out for seven days free of charge.

Sign Up for Rakuten Viki

22. BritBox

Streaming Services: BritBox

  • Free Trial Period: Seven days
  • Cost: $6.99/month or $69.99/year

BritBox prides itself on being the largest streaming collection of British TV, with everything from dramas and comedies to documentaries and soaps.

If you love the BBC and ITV, you can try BritBox free for a week, and then choose from a $6.99 monthly membership or a discounted annual rate of $69.99 (around a 16% discount).

Sign Up for BritBox

Look Out for Extended Free Trials and Promo Codes

While we've discussed the standard free trials for all of these services, most of them also offer extensions and special promotional deals from time to time.

Make sure to stay updated on all the relevant free trial promo codes and streaming discounts by picking your favorite services and setting a Deal Alert with us.

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About the Author
Lesley Sheridan Contributor

Lesley Sheridan is a freelance fashion and beauty writer who lives for Pinterest boards, animal prints, strappy shoes and coupon codes. Her bookshelves are filled with Kevyn Aucoin makeup guides, and her favorite band is and will always be INXS. A Kentucky girl at heart, she currently resides just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her rescue cats, a boyfriend who wishes he were an astronaut and a dog whose favorite word is “pizza.”


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