It’s been over a year and a half since Apple TV+ launched, and at long last, Apple is going to start asking people to pay for its service. When Apple TV+ in 2019, Apple gave everyone who bought a new iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac a one-year free trial to the streaming service. Those trials have been extended twice since and many subscribers still haven’t paid a cent to watch any of Apple’s original content over the last 20 months. That free ride is finally coming to an end next month, as the original trials will expire and the one-year free trial will be reduced to three months.
Back in January, Apple extended the free period until July 2021 for anyone with a trial that was set to expire by June. We are now halfway through June, and it is becoming increasingly clear that Apple is not going to extend these trials again, which means thousands of Apple TV+ users will have to start paying to use the service for the first time since launch this summer.
Additionally, 9to5Mac notes that the terms of the free trial on Apple’s website have been altered:
Eligible devices activated July 1, 2021 or later will qualify for offers of 3 months free Apple TV+. Eligible devices activated on June 30, 2021 or earlier will qualify for offers of 12 months free Apple TV+. $4.99/month after free trial. One offer per Family Sharing group. Offer good for 3 months after eligible device activation. Plan automatically renews until cancelled. Restrictions and other terms apply.
If you recently bought an eligible Apple device or plan to this month and have yet to activate your free trial, you should definitely do so before July 1st if you want to take advantage of the free year of Apple TV+. Otherwise, your free trial will be limited to three months.
The size of the Apple TV+ library will never compete with the likes of Netflix or Hulu, but plenty of the original series and movies on the service have made a splash. Ted Lasso was among the most pleasant surprises of 2020, and season 2 premieres on July 23rd. Other notable originals that have launched on the service include The Morning Show, The Mosquito Coast, For All Mankind, Mythic Quest, and Defending Jacob, while upcoming series Foundation and WeCrashed are getting plenty of early buzz.
It will be interesting to see how many people stick around once they start being charged for Apple TV+ in the coming weeks. Many Apple device owners have now undoubtedly forgotten that they were ever going to have to pay for the service, and if you do not have any interest in spending $5 a month when your subscription automatically renews in July, you can cancel your trial by going to Settings, tapping on your name at the top of the app, and then tapping on Subscriptions, where all of your active and expired subscriptions live. Tap on Apple TV+ to edit that subscription.