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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Disney+ Ends Free Streaming Trial Ahead of Hamilton Release

New customers can no longer enjoy streaming without first committing to a membership.
Continue reading on PCMag.com

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Sorry, Hamilton fans: Disney+ pulled the plug on its free seven-day trial for new customers—two weeks ahead of the small-screen debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical. The streaming service, according to Variety, is confident it can entice new customers without sweeteners.

“We continue to test and evaluate different marketing, offers, and promotions to grow Disney+,” a company spokesperson told the news site. “The service was set at an attractive price-to-value proposition that we believe delivers a compelling entertainment offering on its own.”

Home to a growing catalogue of classic and modern Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content, Disney+ costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually. Customers can quit and resubscribe at any time. Free trials are standard practice among streaming platforms, including Disney-owned Hulu and rival Netflix, each of which let you tune in for 30 days before committing to a membership; newbie HBO Max offers seven days for free. But the times, they are a-changin. And as Variety points out, Disney’s three-way Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle ($12.99 per month) no longer comes with a complimentary viewing period.

The move, first spotted by French site Numerama, is likely to disappoint a lot of people hoping to catch the filmed version of Broadway smash Hamilton without having to make a full-time streaming commitment. (Granted, $7 for 30 days’ unlimited access is certainly a bargain compared to theater prices.)

Originally planned for an October 2021 cinematic release, the movie—starring Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Jonathan Groff—is heading straight to streaming on July 3. Catch it starting at 3 a.m. ET.

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