Apple TV Plus just gave a big gift to both free and paid subscribers

Apple TV
(Image credit: Peter Kotoff/Shutterstock)

Apple TV Plus is getting another extension to its free trial offer — so if you’ve bought a new Apple product since the video streaming service launched in November 2019, such as the iPhone 12, you could keep free access until June this year.

The offer originally entitled new Apple hardware owners to a free Apple TV Plus subscription that would last until November 2020, but in October, Apple extended the scheme to keep going until February 2021. It’s now bumped that up again to June.

This means that not only will recent Apple adoptees get several months of streaming for free, but anyone who jumped on the offer early could end up with over a year and a half’s Apple TV Plus without paying an additional cent.

Not only that, but anyone who would be entitled to the offer but already pays the usual $5 monthly subscription cost will be credited their money back up through June. Anyone eligible to take advantage of the extension will be notified by email in the next few weeks, though they won’t need to do anything on their end to activate it.

Apple hasn’t given any particular reason for this latest extension. However, we note that several major releases are coming to Apple TV Plus in February, including the Rob McElhenney workplace comedy “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” and Tom Holland’s crime drama “Cherry.” 

Apple may simply want these to get as many eyes as possible, both for the platform’s own viewing numbers and to act as effective advertisements to prospective subscribers who might not sign up otherwise.

That said, Apple TV Plus struggled throughout 2020 to attract new viewers; one report claimed that in June, only 7% of U.S. households held a subscription, compared to the 73% that have signed up for Netflix. And considering this free offer was in effect for the entire year, what Apple truly expects from this latest extension is an unanswered question.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.