It looks like there is a new trend emerging as HBO Max joins the list of streaming services doing away with the free trial option. When trying to directly sign-up for HBO Max on their website, it now only gives you the option to subscribe right away.
The move may have been made in an effort to lock users in as Wonder Woman 1984 is slated to premiere on the platform on Dec. 25. Without the free trial option, HBO Max gets to monetize off users who may be subscribing just to watch the blockbuster film.
Following our initial posting, WarnerMedia announced that their entire 2021 theatrical slate will become available on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters.
In their FAQ, it now says “Most HBO Max providers no longer offer a free trial to new subscribers. If a subscription or promotional offer includes a free trial, you’ll see mention of the free trial when you sign up.”
Though there is no free trial when you try to sign up for the service directly, as of right now, third-party services like Amazon Prime Video Channels, Hulu, and YouTube TV that carry HBO Max are still offering a 7-Day Free Trial. They have also started offering free episodes of certain new Max Originals like “The Flight Attendant” without the need of a subscription.
HBO follows in the footsteps of Disney+ and Netflix. Disney+ discontinued their seven day free trial back in June. The move notably came two weeks before the debut of the highly-anticipated film version of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton on the platform, which was bumped up 15 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When new subscribers navigate through the sign-up process, they are prompted to immediately begin paying for the $6.99 per month service (which is heavily marketed as part of a $12.99 bundle with Hulu and ESPN+).
Netflix also quietly phased out their 30-day free trial in October, though in certain countries, it was removed as early March 2019. That move was also made ahead of the fourth season of their wildly popular show, The Crown.
Instead, Netflix will be trying a two-day event called “StreamFest” which gives free access to Netflix for all users.
HBO and HBO Max now have 38 million subscribers as of Q3 2020, up 1.7 million from last quarter. In Q2, the company revealed that 4.1 million had activated their HBO Max account, but now 8.6 million have activated the service.
Last month, they reached a deal with Amazon to bring HBO Max to Fire TV devices, but it is expected to leave Prime Video Channels sometime next year.