It’s the end of an era: As per Variety, earlier this month, Netflix ended its much-loved — and much-exploited — 30-day free trial window in the United States. There was no big announcement. In fact, it was first spotted, publicly anyway, by the blog TV Answer Man, prompting the streaming giant to put out a statement about the move. They said they’re “looking at different marketing promotions in the U.S. to attract new members.”
The free month-long trial is a common ploy among streamers as well as premium channels, who hope to get new subscribers too hooked to pull the plug. More enterprising folks, though, use it to binge the things they want then bail as the month comes to an end. So, sorry, people who wanted to plow through Stranger Things or GLOW or even Rob Schneider’s Real Rob and then bail, but you’re going to have to fork over some dough to do that.
The U.S. isn’t the first or even only place to lose the storied 30-day Netflix free promo. The company has been phasing it out in different markets (i.e., different countries) for the last two years, starting in Mexico. One nation that still has it is South Korea.
In today’s cut-throat streaming culture, 30 days did seem like a lot. As Deadline points out, HBO Max offers only a week of free exploring. And then there’s Disney+, which initially had the same offer but ended them soon as the Hamilton movie hit its coffers, intuiting (rightly!) that there would be a ton of people signing up for a free trial just to watch the show’s original cast strut their stuff. Anyway, pour one out for an era of generous freebies!