Apple has extended its free Apple TV+ subscription offer for the second time. The Californian company started dishing out free subscriptions to its Netflix rival to anyone who bought a new Apple product following the launch of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro in September 2019. Originally scheduled to last one year, Apple announced in October 2020 that it would extend all free subscription until February 2021.
And now, Apple has decided to extend its free offer again. So, if you bought a new iPad, Mac, Apple TV, iPhone or iPad Touch back in September 2019, you’ll be able to stream Apple TV+ films and shows from its launch in November 2019 until June 2021. Given that Apple wants to charge £4.99 a month for the service at that point, that’s a pretty generous freebie.
To subscribe for the same period, Apple fans would’ve had to pay £94.81.
Of course, the offer doesn’t just apply to those who bought a new Apple product back in 2019, anyone who opened a new iPhone or iPad on Christmas morning will be able to enjoy a few months of free streaming before they have to subscribe. As millions of people around the world continue to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a free subscription to dozens of new TV boxsets and films is a nice little bonus of upgrading your smartphone.
Apple’s streaming ambitions had a pretty rocky start. Despite a number of big names attached to its projects, the first batch of shows launched to some pretty mediocre reviews. Since then, Apple has acquired a number of well-received films, including Boys State, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Following the closure of cinemas worldwide, Apple bought the rights to distribute of Tom Hanks’ World War II film Greyhound, too.
Apple is widely believed to be in talks with a number of production companies and studios to license previously released shows and movies to build-up its catalogue on Apple TV+. This represents a pretty dramatic shift for the company, which previously stated that its original content – shows and movies only available on Apple TV+ – would be the key to competing with the likes of Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Although it’s worth noting that all three competitors offer a mixture of original can’t-see-anywhere-else content as well as already established content, like Friends re-runs, Seinfeld, and The Office.
Anyone who is eligible for the latest extension to free Apple TV+ streaming will be notified in the coming days, however, viewers won’t need to do anything to accept the offer or add it to their account. Instead, you’ll just be able to continue streaming for free.
Apple hasn’t given a reason for extending the free subscription offer, although some analysts believe the company is keen to avoid reporting on the total number of subscribers to shareholders for as long as possible.
While the pandemic has seen the likes of Netflix and Disney+ surge in subscribers, unofficial figures don’t show quite the same level of enthusiasm for Apple’s offering quite yet.
With a number of new shows on the horizon, Apple might be hoping that viewers will get a taste for its original programming before June 2021, pushing them to continue subscribing beyond the free trial period. Apple TV+ is also now available in an Apple One bundle, which combines music streaming, workout service Apple Fitness+ and iCloud storage for back-ups into a single monthly subscription fee to Apple.