Want to stream for free? Here are the best free trials for movies and music
Some people like to say that nothing in life is free... but they obviously haven't heard of a Netflix 30 day free trial.
In fact, if you opt for free trials on a wide range of streaming services, it’s easy to get months of free music and movies without paying a penny.
By the end of this guide you'll be able to stream for free to your heart's content.
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Free trials to stream movies without paying
Netflix and Amazon Prime both offer a 30 day free trial for movies.
After that Netflix is £5.99 per month and Amazon Prime £6.58 per month (charged as £79 each year).
It’s £5.99 per month for just Amazon Video, but all the other Prime goodies like Prime Music and one day delivery are probably worth the extra cash.
Students can use all of the Prime services with Amazon Student, which has a tasty 6 months free trial and is £40 a year cheaper than the standard subscription.
The Now TV movies pass is a great option for the impatient cinephile eager to watch the latest blockbusters soon after their big screen release.
It’s run by Sky, and is essentially Sky Movies without the expense of a full Sky package.
A Now TV movie pass is £9.99 (you pay a bit more for recently released movies). Sadly, the Now TV trial is only 14 days.
If it’s TV you’re after, the Now TV entertainment pass offers a 14 day free trial for TV streaming with access to essentials like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and (for David Lynch fans) the new Twin Peaks.
It costs £6.99 once the free trial runs out, so the downside to having multiple Now TV packages for film and TV is that it does quickly add up.
Once you’ve used up your free trials for the big hitters, you should have had 10 weeks of free movie streaming, but the party’s not over yet.
If you like your movies served a little more alternative, then MUBI is an indie films specialist that has a neat USP.
For anyone who’s bored of endlessly trawling through Netflix, MUBI has a 30 film library that’s updated daily. Every day a new hand-picked film is added, and after thirty days it’s removed.
MUBI is definitely aimed at arthouse and world cinema lovers, so only consider it if titles like Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel get you excited.
It’s only available with Amazon Prime, does not include TV shows and they only offer 7 days free trial movie streaming, but that may be long enough for soulful 1950s Swedish films to become your new favourite genre.
Don’t forget that if TV is more your thing and you can live without Game of Thrones, you can watch TV on demand without a TV license on any catch-up service except BBC iPlayer, such as ITV Player and 4OD.
BBC iPlayer is also free if you have a TV license.
Students can dodge the TV licence fee with this iPlayer loophole.
Free trials to stream music without paying
Apple Music kick things off handsomely, with a three month free trial.
The streaming service is known for offering juicy exclusives from the likes of Drake, Katy Perry and Frank Ocean, and if you want to subscribe it’s £9.99 per month.
Spotify may be ostensibly free, but after months of your music being regularly interrupted by audio and video ads, it might be time for a free trial of Spotify Premium.
The standard trial is 30 days, but Spotify have offered 3 months of Premium for 99p in the past, so keep your eyes peeled for similar offers. After that it’s £9.99.
Both Apple Music and Spotify also have a ‘family’ subscription, which means you and five other friends can use the service at a reduced cost of £14.99 for everyone.
Both services also offer a discounted £4.99 per month for students.
Amazon Prime is, unfortunately, much better for films than it is for music, offering only 2 million songs compared with Spotify’s 30 million.
However, if you already have Amazon Prime then you can get 4 months of Amazon Music Unlimited for 99p, which means access to 40 million songs.
Like Spotify it’s £9.99 per month (you get two months free if you subscribe to Prime), and if you have an Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot it’s only £4.99 a month.
With the Echo, you can also find songs by quoting lyrics to Alexa (perfect for half-remembered ear worms on the radio) or asking her for specific genres.
By now you’ll have spent 99p for eight months of free music streaming, but the good news is that it isn’t really essential to pay to stream music.
Last.fm is completely free, does not have Spotify’s horrifically repetitive audio ads and allows you to skip tracks as much as you want.
It’s ‘scrobbling tool’ derives recommendations based on the music you listen to on iTunes and Windows Media Player.
The only downside is that you won’t be able to make your own playlists (Last.fm makes them for you based on recommendations), but that may be a reasonable sacrifice for dodging subscription fees.
Cancelling your free trials
Of course all of these companies are looking to entice you in to paying for subscription services, and if you forget to cancel your subscription at the end of a free trial you may accidentally start forking out cash.
Automatic account renewal is more or less standard across all platforms after a free trial, so either work out how to turn off automatic renewal or make a note in the calendar of when the trial ends.
Apple Music lets you cancel your subscription at any time during your free trial and still enjoy the whole three months of music streaming.
You can also ask Amazon Prime to send you a reminder email three days before your membership is automatically renewed by clicking on ‘Manage Prime’ in your account settings.
If you are charged for a subscription you don’t want, get in touch with the company.
On most occasions they will give you your money back if you haven’t used the service, and if not then we are here to help.
If you keep track of when your free trials end, streaming heaven is within your grasp!
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