Select Streaming Services Offer Free Content for Those Staying at Home

Mina Orlic, Editor-in-Chief

   Several streaming services are offering free content options during quarantine, providing a wealth of free-to-watch TV shows and movies on a temporary basis. 

   Sling TV is now offering “…free access to viewers during ‘happy hour’ from 5 p.m. to midnight. Participants can access its Sling Blue service, which features 50 live channels of TV and 50,000 on-demand titles, including CNN, Fox News, AMC, and A&E. The ‘Happy Hour’ is part of its ‘Stay in and Sling’ initiative” ( 

   Sony Pictures Entertainment “…has created a YouTube channel filled with fun videos that use clips from kid-friendly movies like Hotel Transylvania, The Smurfs, and Goosebumps to spice up tutorials on creating nail art, drawing cartoon characters and making your own doggy treats” ( 

   Another option is Crackle TV, a completely free streaming service owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. The service features movies, TV, and original programming that rotate on a monthly basis ( Viewers can access Crackle from a computer, smartphone or smart TV/Roku to watch classic TV shows like 3rd Rock From The Sun, Barney Miller, Hell’s Kitchen, I Dream of Jeannie and more — and movies like Big Fish, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Gattaca and more Sony-owned titles ( 

   Pluto TV works in a similar way. According to the  Digital Trends Website, “Pluto TV falls under the category of a streaming service; this free option combines live TV with on-demand content that might interest many subscribers. Pluto offers an enticing collection of more than 250 channels and thousands of free movies and TV shows for the low, low price of absolutely nothing (except your time watching ads)” ( 

   Viewers can watch hit TV shows, top Hollywood hits, and more without purchasing a subscription through IMDb TV, “…a free, ad-supported streaming video channel available in the United States on the IMDb app, the IMDb website via laptop or personal computer, the Amazon Prime Video app, and Amazon Fire TV devices” ( 

   Other streaming companies have created bundles that go along with certain provider plans. If someone has T-Mobile, Netflix is included in the Magenta Family Plan ( 

   Verizon subscribers with Unlimited or those with 5G Home Internet get one year of free Disney Plus. According to the official Verizon website, “Eligible plans include the Verizon Unlimited plan, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, Above Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, and Start Unlimited. Business accounts are not eligible” ( 

   For individuals who purchase or have recently purchased a new Apple product — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac — it includes one year of Apple TV Plus for free. After setting up your new Apple product, follow these steps to redeem your offer: “1) Turn on your new Apple device and sign in with your Apple ID. 2) Open the Apple TV app. Make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or macOS. 3) The offer should be presented immediately after launching the app. If not, go to the Apple TV Plus channel page where you’ll see the offer. 4) Tap Enjoy 1 Year Free” ( 

    According to the Consumer Reports website, “Subscribers to Verizon’s FiOS TV service are getting some freebies over the next few weeks, including access to premium channels. As of April 1, FiOS TV customers got Epix and Showtime added to their program packages free of charge. HBO and Cinemax were offered for free from April 17-20, while Starz got a free run from April 17 to 23. Other FiOS TV freebies include classic NBA and NHL games for sports fans missing out on live-action, and free educational resources for parents, students, and kids from sites and services such as Chegg (textbooks and test prep), Quizlet Plus (learning tools and flashcards), and Epix!’s digital library” (

   According to the official HBO website, for the month of April, anyone could watch a selection of HBO shows, documentaries, and movies entirely for free, no subscription required. Among those available for free were series like The Sopranos, Veep, and The Wire, and movies such as Crazy. Stupid. Love. and Blinded by the Light (  

    AT&T Watch TV, which has about 35 cable channels but no local broadcasts, typically costs 15 dollars per month but is currently free for AT&T phone subscribers with unlimited plans — either Unlimited and More or Unlimited and More Premium (

   Other streaming services have extended their free trial length. Acorn TV (with Promo code FREE30), Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access (with Promo code ALL or GIFT), Filmatigue,  Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, Shudder (with Promo code SHUTIN), and Sundance Now (with Promo code SUNDANCENOW30) all currently offer a 30-day free trial ( 

    The free content provided is helping quell boredom during quarantine. Senior Myrene Vettese stated, “I think it’s really cool that streaming services are providing free content because staying at home in quarantine is not necessarily exciting. After all of my school work, I still have so many hours left in the day, and it’s not like I can go outside and see my friends so movies and shows are my go-to solution to fight boredom.”