As the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic culminates in essential stay-at-home orders, people are turning to streaming services now more than ever. Luckily, there’s no shortage of TV shows and movies to ride out the closures of schools, workplaces, and other places during a time of such uncertainty. To better help viewers get through these trying times, Bustle compiled a list of 12 streaming services with free trials amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The options listed below offer at least 30 days (or more) of free trials for viewers to test out before committing to the service.
In an era with an abundance of options, the content possibilities are endless: With Netflix’s Tiger King, for example, viewers will get lost in the eccentric worlds of a wildlife park owner and an animal rights activist. With Showtime’s The Chi, viewers will experience the pain and glory of teens coming of age in the South Side of Chicago. And with Hulu’s High Fidelity, viewers will revisit past relationships with the ultimate soundtrack and momentarily forget about the state of the world. With options like Acorn TV, CBS All Access, Showtime, Hulu, and more, the vast library of content below is bound to have something for everyone while in quarantine.
Set to launch on April 6, Quibi is a short-form mobile-only video platform with original content that consists of 10 minute or less. The plans start at $4.99/month, but those who sign up before April 30 get a 90-day free trial to stream programs like Chrissy Teigen’s Chrissy’s Court, Sophie Turner’s Survive, and Chance the Rapper’s Punk’d revival.
Acorn TV offers a vast library of popular TV shows from the UK as well as Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Mexico. While a monthly subscription is $5.99/month or $59.99/year, streamers can get a 30-day free trial with the promo code FREE30 to access popular shows such as Midsomer Murders, Doc Martin, and No Offence.
Owned and operated by AMC Networks, Shudder offers a selection of horror, thriller, and supernatural films, TV shows, and podcasts for horror enthusiasts. The plans start at $4.75/month, but with the promo code SHUTIN, streamers can get a 30-day free trial to enjoy classics like Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, and Train to Busan.
Netflix offers films, TV shows, and original content with plans that start at $8.99/month. Like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, Netflix offers a 30-day free trial year round so viewers can enjoy programs like Stranger Things, Tiger King, and Marriage Story before officially committing to the service.
Sundance Now, also owned by AMC, offers TV and films in the true crime, documentary, thriller, drama, and comedy categories, as well as updates from the annual Sundance Film Festival. The plans start at $4.99/month, but with the promo code SUNDANCENOW30, streamers can get a 30-day free trial to access titles like Frances Ha, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle, and A Discovery of Witches.
Amazon Prime Video
While already available for Amazon Prime members, streamers without a Prime account can subscribe to Amazon Prime Video for $8.99/month. The service offers a 30-day free trial year round, so viewers can access popular programs and films like Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hunters, and Honey Boy before committing to a subscription.
IFC Films Unlimited
Available on Amazon Prime Video and on demand, IFC Films Unlimited offers a wide array of films for an additional $5.99/month. Like Prime Video, it offers a 30-day free trial and includes acclaimed titles like Y Tu Mamá También, Boyhood, and Blue Is the Warmest Color.
Showtime offers an eclectic mix of TV shows, films, and original content for $10.99/month. The service will offer a 30-day free trial for viewers who sign up before May 3. Popular titles on the service include Homeland, Shameless, and On the Basis of Sex.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access offers content from CBS’ film and TV category as well as original content. The plans start at $5.99/month, but with the promo code ALL or GIFT, streamers can get a 30-day free trial and access titles like Star Trek: Picard, Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone reboot, and Why Women Kill.
Hulu offers TV shows, films, and original content with plans that start at $5.99/month. The service's most popular, basic plan and its ad-free plan both offer a 30-day free trial year round, so streamers can access popular titles like Shrill, Little Fires Everywhere, and High Fidelity.
Dedicated to the arts, Marquee TV gives viewers access to acclaimed dance, opera, and theater performances for $8.99/month. The service offers a 30-day free trial, so viewers can don their finest theatre attire in their living rooms and stream titles like A Swan Lake, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Twelfth Night — pocket-sized theatre binoculars optional.
Filmatique offers acclaimed international art-house and festival films for $4.95/month. It releases a new film every week, as well as exclusive filmmaker interviews. The service offers a 30-day free trial so film connoisseurs can stream foreign titles like A Woman's Life, Tulpan, and Barbara.
With all of these service options that offer extensive free trial periods, it’s a good time to start a new series or watch a film that you’ve been meaning to get to before the world came to a crashing halt. Perhaps the most difficult decision lies in which service to start with. Happy quarantine streaming.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.