With over 200 video streaming services in the US, finding a TV streaming service that balances cost, content, and convenience can be a real challenge. Because it's not just about what to watch; it's about choosing a platform that feels tailor-made for us.
As a TV critic and pop culture writer, I know how to evaluate streaming options from a viewer's perspective, considering factors like content quality, user experience, and overall value. So, to help you with your decision, I've compiled a straightforward guide to my five best free trial streaming services.
» Having a film fest at home? Check out our best movie streaming services.
Our 5 Best Free Trial Streaming Services in 2024 at a Glance:
- Hulu - Best streaming service with a free trial overall
- Sling TV - Best for customizable live TV streaming
- Amazon Prime Video - Best for a comprehensive entertainment package
- Philo - Best for budget-conscious users
- fuboTV - Best for sports enthusiasts
- Price - From $7.99/month
- Trial duration - 30 days
Hulu offers free trials for its ad-supported and no-ads plans. These promotion periods can vary, sometimes up to a month, providing enough time to try out the service. After this, subscription plans start at $7.99/month, with an ad-free version available at $17.99/month—if you want an uninterrupted viewing experience.
During the free trial, you can watch numerous TV shows, movies, and Hulu Originals, such as "Only Murders in the Building" and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." There's also a package for Hulu + Live TV if you're interested in live and on-demand content, though this is excluded from the main trial service.
Why we chose Hulu:
- Over 85 live TV channels
- No hidden fees, and the option to cancel anytime
- Bundles with Disney+ and ESPN+
2. Sling TV
- Price - From $40/month
- Trial duration - 30 days
Sling TV occasionally has trials for anywhere between seven to 30 days. With this, you can get a free preview of all the content on the service, including on-demand shows and live channels such as NFL Network, HGTV, FS1, CNN, and Fox News.
But if a promotional period isn't available, you can also try out Sling TV through Freestream. This feature gives you free access to 400+ channels and doesn't require any payment information. So, you can enjoy a diverse range of programming without worrying about unexpected charges or canceling your subscription.
Why we chose Sling TV:
- Free DVR with 50 hours of recording capacity
- Various add-ons and premium channels like SHOWTIME and STARZ
- Promotions apply to new and former subscribers
» Looking for more options? Try these Sling TV alternatives.
3. Amazon Prime Video
Price - From $8.99/month
Trial duration - 30 days
If you're considering Amazon Prime, its 30-day free trial is an excellent way to explore the full range of Prime benefits. You get the same advantages as a paying member right from the start. This includes streaming various movies and hidden gems on Amazon Prime like "Fleabag" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Plus, if you shop online, you have free and fast shipping options on eligible items. You can also get exclusive deals, especially on Prime Day, and other services like Prime Reading and Prime Music. This trial is an opportunity to see how Amazon Prime fits into your lifestyle, whether it's for entertainment, shopping, or all of the above.
Why we chose Amazon Prime Video:
- Exclusive access to "Thursday Night Football"
- Unlimited reading, shopping, and TV and music streaming
- Add-on channels like the HBO network and SHOWTIME
- Price - From $25/month
- Trial duration - 7 days
Philo's trial gives you full access to all the features available to paying subscribers. Its range of channels caters to different interests, including news, lifestyle, and entertainment. There are also over 70,000 on-demand titles and popular shows like "Killing Eve" and "The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard."
The platform has a user-friendly interface to make navigation through its vast content easy and enjoyable—which is what we all want from streaming services. Additionally, Philo supports streaming on up to three devices simultaneously. This means households with multiple viewers can enjoy their content without compromise.
Why we chose Philo:
- 70+ live channels like Comedy Central, Discovery, and Food Network
- Unlimited DVR
- Up to 10 profiles on one account
- Price - From $74.99/month
- Trial duration - 7 days
fuboTV typically offers a seven-day free trial, allowing you to test the service and its 180+ channels before committing. The platform specializes in sports content but also broadcasts news, entertainment, and lifestyle shows. This versatility makes it a convenient and cost-effective solution for varied viewing needs.
You also get up to 1000 hours of Cloud DVR storage to record and watch your favorite shows later. This large storage capacity means you can save shows for long-term viewing and create a personalized library of your preferred programs that you can access anytime.
Why we chose fuboTV:
- No contractual obligations
- Includes channels like FOX, ESPN, National Geographic, and Nickelodeon
- 10 screens at home
» Find out why streaming is worth the price.
Match Your Streaming Services to Your Lifestyle
When considering these five streaming options, think about what fits best with your usual viewing habits, the kind of content you enjoy, and your budget. These free trials offer more than a sneak peek; they provide a real sense of what these platforms can bring to your daily entertainment routine.
Each has unique strengths, whether it's Hulu's bundle options, Sling TV's customizable packages, or Amazon Prime's exclusive content. If you're part of the 93% of Americans who plan to expand their streaming choices, take advantage of these free trials, explore each service, and find the one that feels just right for you.