Apple TV+ Free Trial Extended Until End of January 2021

Move could improve conversion and retention.

Apple is extending the free trial period for Apple TV+ subscriptions until the end of January 2021. This extension applies to subscriptions that were set to expire between November 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021, reports TechCrunch. Apple’s SVOD subscription service launched in November 2019 and, while the service has some paying subscribers, many users received a free year of the service because they purchased an eligible Apple product.

Customers who signed up for yearly subscriptions without buying an Apple device will also have their subscription’s free trial extended. New monthly subscribers who sign up by November 1, 2020 will get a $4.99 credit each month until February. Apple will automatically update subscriber accounts with the free trial extension, and Apple will email customers about the specifics.

Image courtesy of Apple TV+

Goodwill gesture

TechCrunch says that Apple is offering the free trial extension because the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and it could be a long winter with so many working and attending school from home and for the tens of millions of Americans out of work. This generosity extends Apple’s goodwill beyond the company’s free offerings this spring. In April, Apple extended the Apple Music free trial from 30 to 90 days, and the company offered free streaming access to some of Apple TV+’s programming.

Apple TV+ programming

Currently, Apple TV+ only offers original programming, though the company will eventually show licensed material produced by other studios. Some of Apple TV+’s current programming includes the following:

  • See (drama)
  • The Morning Show (drama)
  • Defending Jacob (drama)
  • Tehran (drama)
  • Ted Lasso (comedy)
  • Central Park (comedy)
  • Dickinson (comedy)
  • Trying (comedy)
  • Amazing Stories (anthology)
  • Little America (anthology)
  • Fraggle Rock: Rock On! (for children)
  • Ghostwriter (for children)
  • Snoopy in Space (for children)
  • Greatness Code (documentary)
  • Home (documentary)
  • Long Way Up (documentary)
  • Beastie Boys Story (documentary)
  • Dads (documentary)
  • Greyhound (feature film)
  • Hala (feature film)
  • Exclusive programming featuring Oprah Winfrey

Subscribers can access Apple TV+ on their Apple devices, Mac, PC, Samsung’s Smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire.

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Q3 FY2020 product & service revenue

For Apple’s third quarter of fiscal year 2020, for the period ended June 27, 2020, Apple had record revenue, including $46.5 billion in product revenue, a 9.8% increase year-over-year, and $13.2 billion in services revenue, a 14.8% increase year-over-year. Apple TV+ subscription revenue is part of the services revenue, though Apple doesn’t break it out by product (e.g., Apple Arcade, Apple Music, etc.) With such significant growth, Apple can afford to extend its free trial.

Insider Take

This is a good strategic move on Apple’s part. By extending the free trial period for up to three months, the company is fostering goodwill with Apple TV+ viewers which they will remember, even when times are good. The free trial extension may potentially help Apple convert free subscribers into paid ones, and it might improve retention of its current subscribers. In addition, by offering a 90-day free trial to new subscribers (for those who sign up by November 1, new viewers are exposed to Apple’s award-winning original programming.