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Netflix has cancelled free trials in Australia

Group of Friends Watching Sports on TV

New Netflix subscribers will be required to pay for a subscription immediately after signing up.

In what might come across as a surprising move, especially given the increased competition in the streaming market, Netflix has quietly removed its free trial offer in Australia.

Until recently, new users who signed up for the service were able to test the platform free of cost for 30 days. While they still needed to provide payment information upfront, their accounts weren't charged until their free month was up.

That's no longer the case. New users signing up for Netflix have to pay as soon as they activate their subscription, meaning that there's no way to give the service a test-drive without shelling out some cash.

That being said, Netflix is offering small bonuses to those trying out the platform for the first time.

What can you get instead of a free trial?

Instead of a free trial, new users who create a Netflix account get an upgrade to a more expensive plan for the first 30 days. In other words, if you subscribe to the Basic plan you'll be upgraded to Standard and if you subscribe to Standard you'll be able to experience Premium for no extra cost. If you subscribe directly to Premium, you don't get to enjoy any special promotions at the moment.

Netflix special discounted trial offer showing free upgrade on plan

The difference between Netflix's three plans is tied to video quality and the number of devices you can stream on at the same time. The Basic plan lets you watch in SD quality on 1 device for $9.99 a month. The Standard plan enables users to watch in HD on 2 devices at the same time for $13.99 a month. Finally, the Premium plan, priced at $19.99 a month, comes with 4K video quality and the ability to watch on 4 devices simultaneously.

Can I still get Netflix for free?

No. With the free trial offer gone, you will have to pay for Netflix from the moment you sign up.

However, you might be able to enjoy Netflix for free as part of promotions currently run by other providers. For instance, Foxtel is still offering new customers a Netflix Standard plan for a limited time when they sign up for selected bundles.

Why has Netflix done this?

We aren't entirely sure, but there are plenty of theories floating around. Australia isn't the first country where Netflix has removed its free trial offer. The same happened in the UK, Canada and Mexico, to only name a few.

Netflix is reportedly looking into different marketing techniques to attract new users. In February, for instance, original movie To All the Boys I Loved Before was available to stream for free, without an account, in several markets. We might expect similar offers Down Under moving forward, especially with the free trial now gone.

Alternatively, Netflix might be banking on its reputation alone to attract new subscribers. After all, the company also raised prices for its Premium plan late last year in Australia by $2 a month.

Even with competition getting fiercer, Netflix remains the most popular streaming service on a global scale. It produces original content at an impressive rate and the streaming experience is seamless, which can be reason enough to convince a new user to give it a go. If you decide to do so, check out our list of the best Netflix TV shows to get started.

We also can't rule out the possibility that Netflix finally got tired of freeloaders. While password sharing among friends remains a common occurrence, the free trial meant that a certain user could, technically, sign up with a different email every month. That way, they were able to binge their hearts out without paying a dime. That's no longer possible.

What other streaming free trials can you get?

While Netflix is no longer offering free trials, other streaming services available in Australia continue to do so. Consequently, you can still access some platforms free for a limited time.

Amazon Prime Video comes with a 30-day free trial as does Stan. While Disney+ has a 7-day free trial and so does Apple TV+. You can sign up for Kayo Sports with a 14-day free trial and Foxtel Now with a 10-day free trial.

Check out every streaming free trial available in Australia.

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