HBO: Free access to select programming for a limited time
Ahead of the launch of new streaming service HBO Max in May, the premium cable company is freeing up 500 hours of programming for a limited time as part of its #StayHomeBoxOffice promotion.
Quibi: Free 90-day trial if you sign up by April 20
A lot of hype about Quibi! If we’re honest, we’re not sure we get it, but obviously someone does seeing as how the company raised nearly $2 billion prior to its launch. Regardless, the entirely new, short form streaming platform has extended its free trial promotional period from to 90 days, extended from the original plan of 2 weeks.
With its launch on April 6, Quibi has more than 50 shows available featuring Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth, and Will Forte, among others. You can hear more about the company on the latest episode of Business Casual.
CBS All Access: Free 60-day trial with the code ENJOY
CBS All Access has a massive library of the network’s public programming, as well as platform-exclusive programs like a reboot of “The Twilight Zone,” the new Star Trek series “Star Trek: Picard,” and “The Good Wife” spinoff “The Good Fight.” Once you sign up for a 30-day trial, go into your account settings and use the code ENJOY to add a second month to your free trial.
For the Kids:
PBS Kids: Currently no cable login required
Perfect for cord cutting parents! The service offers the same great child-friendly educational programming you would find on your PBS station. Previously, users were required to log in with their cable credentials and provide a location but as of March 20, select episodes of shows like “Sesame Street,” “Arthur,” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” have become open-source content.
This is ideal for those trying to coach their kids through remote learning or even for teachers to use as supplemental curricular materials.
Amazon Prime for Kids: Free access with an Amazon login
Amazon already offers a ton of kids’ programming to its Amazon Prime subscribers, but is currently offering free access to some of its children-friendly shows simply by logging into a basic Amazon account.
Noggin: 60-day free trial
Noggin is a streaming service from Nickelodeon aimed at the younger set. Shows like “Dora the Explorer,” “Blue’s Clues,” and “Peppa Pig” are all available on the platform, which has extended its typical seven-day free trial to 60-days.
For the Film Fans:
Shudder: Free 30-day trial with the code SHUTIN
Horror movie fans may want to check out Shudder, which is offering 30 days of free fright at sign-up using the promo code SHUTIN. Recently added movies to the service include “The Exorcist” and the first eight films in the “Friday the 13th” franchise.
Criterion Channel: Free 14-day trial
The Criterion Collection is a film organization that selects a certain number of culturally significant films to preserve and present each year. Its collection now numbers over 1,000, all of which are available on the Criterion Channel in the highest quality format. The free trial period for Criterion is now 14-days.
Sundance Now: Free 7-day trial
Indie film fans may want to give Sundance Now a try. From the company that runs the Sundance Film Festival, the platform has a solid library of titles, old and new.
Crackle: Unlike the others on this list so far, Crackle is an ad-supported service, which means that although it is always free, enjoying films in its library like “Taxi Driver” and “Dr. Strangelove” require watching ads every 15 to 20 minutes. If you can stomach the interruptions, this Sony-owned streamer may be worth it as Crackle’s library of movies and shows is pretty impressive.
Tubi: Recently acquired by Fox, Tubi has a solid collection of movies and kids’ shows. For adult viewers, it is more limited, though, and like Crackle, the service is ad supported, so expect some abrupt breaks from viewing every 15 or 20 minutes.
Kanopy and Hoopla: Kanopy and Hoopla are two streaming services that are tied to your local library. With a library card, you can access movies on Kanopy, as well as e-books, educational programming, workout videos, and more. Hoopla is a similar concept, but for TV. The caveat with both services is that selection varies depending on what your local library has made available.
The Big Platforms:
Netflix: Free 30-day trial
Anyone with an e-mail address can sign up for a free 30-day Netflix trial. The company offers a range of plans, but if you’re planning on signing up and then canceling, go for the Premium tier, which offers Ultra HD (4K) content and streaming on up to four devices simultaneously.
Amazon Prime Video: Free 30-day trial
With so many stores closed or unreachable at the moment, a Prime subscription might be a worth while endeavor for some. Part of that trial offer includes 30 days of access to Prime Video, which has thousands of shows and movies. Even if you’ve had Amazon Prime in the past and let your subscription lapse, you can start a new 30-day free trial of Prime Video if it’s been at least 12 months since you canceled.
Hulu: Free 30-day trial
Like Netflix, Hulu is free for 30 days for new users. The service specializes in recent broadcasts of network and cable TV shows. If you’re planning on canceling at the end of the month, go for the ad-free option, which normally runs $12 a month. If you’re thinking about keeping it afterward and want to save a bit of money, the ad-supported version runs $6 a month.
Disney+: Free 7-day trial
Disney+ has a massive collection of kid-friendly content. It doesn’t offer a very robust trial, at only seven days free, but at $7 a month, it’s cheaper than many of its counterparts. Along with classic Disney animated movies and shows, you get access to nearly everything in the Marvel and Star Wars universes, as well as FOX programs like “The Simpsons.”