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A Guide to the Best Streaming Services and Free Trials

By Aaron Wayne White 

April 7, 2020 (updated)

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a lot from us. Events have been cancelled, businesses are closed, and school classes are no longer in-person. But, if there is one thing this crisis has given us, it is more time at home and many are using this time to binge watch. Streaming numbers are up tremendously as many have flocked to their phones, tablets and televisions for convenient entertainment. Whether you’re a sports fan trying to catch up on games you missed, or a movie buff trying to work your way through this past year’s Oscar nominees, there’s something for everyone. Many streaming providers are seizing the opportunity by offering special deals and even making some content free to watch. 

Here’s a guide to all of the best streaming services and free trials:

Netflix

The original streaming giant offers a 30-day trial membership for new members and monthly subscriptions starting at $9.  

YouTube TV

Youtube TV has over 70 channels and is offering a two-week free trial. Once the trial ends, the service is $49.99 per month

HBO

HBO Now, featuring The Outsider and Game of Thrones, offers a free 7-day trial. Once the trial ends, the service is $14.99 per month. Additionally, HBO has made over 500 hours of programming including The Wire, The Sopranos, Ballers, Silicon Valley, and more, free to the public.

Apple TV+

Apple is offering an entire year of the streaming service free with purchase of a new Apple device. For anyone else who wants to check out Apple’s original shows, movies and documentaries, a 7-day free trial is offered while the monthly subscription is only $4.99. 

Hulu

Hulu has a one-week free trial before charging a base rate of $5.99 per month. There are also add-ons available for purchase, such as HBO or Cinemax. In addition, you can buy Hulu’s Live TV option for $54.99 monthly. Hulu will also be streaming Best Picture winner at the 92nd Academy Awards, Parasite starting on April 8. 

Amazon Prime Video

With popular originals like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan, Amazon Prime Video is offering a free 30-day trial, as well as some family and kids titles for free to all Amazon customers. 

Showtime

Offering a free 30-day trial, you can use to watch hit shows like Homeland and Shameless. After the 30-day trial, Showtime is $10.99 monthly. 

NBA League Pass

The NBA is offering a free preview of League Pass until April 22. Fans can view any game from the 2019-20 season, plus classic games and content. 

NFL Game Pass

The NFL is giving fans free access to their Game Pass platform, allowing fans to watch any game from the previous season, in addition to NFL original shows such as Hard Knocks and A Football Life 

Sling TV

As part of it’s “Stay in and Sling” deal, Sling is taking $10 off the first month for new subscribers, making the service, which includes over 50 live channels and over 50,000 movies and TV shows on-demand, just $20 per month. 

Disney+

Disney’s streaming service with popular movie franchises such as Star Wars and The Avengers, is offering new subscribers a 7-day free trial before the $6.99 a month subscription. You can also bundle it with ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 a month.

Broadway HD

Broadway HD offers a variety of musicals and plays, which are available to stream for either $8.99 per month or $99.99 a year after the one-week free trial.

Pluto TV

There is no free trial for Pluto because this streaming service is always free. Pluto includes over 250 channels of TV and thousands of on-demand TV shows and movies.

PBS

PBS has a free video app that contains over 4,000 original shows and documentaries, from Frontline to Austin City Limits, on demand. 

CBS All Access

With hit shows such as NCIS, Survivor, and Big Brother on their streaming platform, CBS is offering a 30-day free trial which is available starting 5.99 per month after the trial period. 

Sundance Now 

With promo code SUNDANCENOW30, Sundance is now offering a 30-day free trial to check out their library of shows and movies. Monthly subscription starts as low as $6.99. 

Starz

Recent box office hits such as Zombieland: Double Tap and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood can be found on Starz. Now offering a special deal for the first 3 months at $4.99 per month, as opposed to the regular price of $8.99. 

Philo

Take advantage of Philo’s free one-week trial. The service has over 50 channels including IFC, Sundance, Vice, AMC, A&E, and MTV with a monthly cost of $20 after the trial. 

Crackle

Crackle is another free streaming service with hundreds of classic TV shows and movies to choose from. 

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