Netflix had silently dropped it’s free trial offer a while ago when all everyone could talk about was coronavirus pandemic. And now, Disney+Hotstar has decided to follow the suit. These free trial offers are supposed to be one of the major attractive features to make people subscribe to the platform. And now that these giant streaming platforms are taking the huge step of dropping it, there are different aspects to be considered as to what might have led to this.
Considering Disney+Hotstar specifically, there are suggestions that this might be because of the premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical ‘Hamilton‘ on July 3. The platform is going to stream a live recording of the Broadway musical that is releasing as a film. Hamilton is designed in a way that it needs to be watched in one sitting, and not in a tits and bits manner. So it would be easy to sign up, watch the show, then cancel before paying Disney+Hotstar a cent. And that could be a good reason for the cancellation of the free run. But a more solid reason behind this decision could also be related to revenue. Other possibility might be that this is a strategy to make profit by grabbing the opportunity lockdown has provided.
The use of OTT platforms has seen a rise since lockdown happened. With being restricted in the confines of the walls of their homes people are looking for some sort of recreation. This is where these OTT platforms come into scene. Now more than ever, the number of subscriptions to these mediums has increased. And there couldn’t have been a better timing to make hay while the sun shines by ditching the free trial offer.
This step of ditching free offers by these OTT platforms is definitely going to have a wider impact on the market. This could be an experiment for Netflix and Disney+Hotstar to see how the consumers respond. Also its unlikely for others to follow their footsteps because the newer platforms still need to prove their worth. Also the smaller streamers don’t have the same name recognition, so they need trials to lure new customers.
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