For the previous couple of years, savvy cord-cutters have identified how one can get Paramount+ (the service previously generally known as CBS All Entry) with out paying a dime.
Virtually each month, Paramount (the media firm previously generally known as ViacomCBS) doles out coupons for a month of free service, legitimate for each new and returning subscribers. So long as you didn’t have already got an energetic subscription, you may redeem these coupons repeatedly and by no means pay for Paramount+. The codes even work with Paramount+ Premium, which has restricted advertisements and offers a dwell native CBS stream.
This week, Paramount+ introduced a brand new promotion that briefly made me assume the corporate was altering ways: By coming into the code BIRTHDAY at checkout, you may get three months of both the Important plan for $1 per 30 days (down from $5 per 30 days) or the Premium plan for $2 per 30 days (down from $10 per 30 days). Each offers are legitimate via March 7.
However whereas Paramount is loudly selling its birthday sale with press outreach and a promo video, the corporate has additionally quietly continued its free choices in parallel. (The present free code, per Doctor of Credit, is BETWEEN.) Except you’re an excessive Paramount+ fanatic, you must in all probability skip the birthday provide and stick to the freebies as an alternative.
Free is healthier than low cost
I first wrote about these free coupons in October 2020, when the service was nonetheless known as CBS All Entry. The method for redeeming them hasn’t modified since then, however right here’s a refresher:
Choose the Premium plan, and ensure to decide on month-to-month billing.
Proceed to the ultimate checkout web page and discover the field that claims “Your Plan.”
Click on the blue “Have a coupon code?” hyperlink, then enter your coupon (at present BETWEEN) within the field.
Confirm that your trial provide reveals one month free, and that the entire cost is $0, earlier than confirming the subscription.
Jared Newman / IDG
You don’t must be a brand new subscriber to redeem these free Paramount+ codes, however you may’t add them to an energetic subscription. As an alternative, you have to let your subscription expire earlier than coming into a brand new code.
To keep away from being billed robotically after your free month is over, cancel your subscription sooner or later after signing up. (I’ve discovered that if you happen to cancel instantly, it’ll nullify the free trial.) You’ll nonetheless get the complete month and your subscription will cancel robotically on the finish.
My most popular tactic for remembering to cancel? Use the “Snooze” function in Gmail for Paramount+’s affirmation e-mail, however you may also simply add an merchandise to your calendar or ask your cellphone’s voice assistant or your sensible speaker to set a reminder for you.
Jared Newman / IDG
You may cancel on-line via the Paramount+ account page. To finish the cancellation, you’ll have to reject Paramount’s provide for 50 % off two months, after which give a motive for why you’re ending the subscription. (I normally simply say it’s too costly. What streaming service isn’t?)
I’ve no method of figuring out whether or not Paramount+ will proceed providing free coupons sooner or later—the corporate didn’t reply to a request for touch upon its technique—so skipping the extra extensively promoted birthday sale is a little bit of a chance. Nonetheless, it’s price noting that Paramount+ has supplied reductions up to now, solely to keep up its free coupon sample for many who didn’t take the bait.
When it first rebranded from CBS All Entry final yr, as an illustration, Paramount+ allowed clients to purchase a one-year subscription for $30 with advertisements or $50 with out—a 50-percent low cost in each instances. Anybody who took that deal missed out on the various free-month coupons which have adopted.
Additionally, the free coupon technique appears to have labored out effectively for Paramount. In a press launch, the corporate says it exceeded its first-year development targets for Paramount+ after rebranding the service from CBS All Entry in March 2021, and it ended final yr with 32.8 million subscribers. In my earlier protection, the corporate stated it had loads of success turning freebie takers into paid subscribers.
That is sensible to me. On a big sufficient scale, it’s straightforward to think about tens of millions of individuals not bothering to cancel, not figuring out that free-month coupons are a daily incidence, or genuinely loving Paramount+ sufficient to really feel that the complete value is justified. And whereas I proceed to insist that you just shouldn’t pay for Paramount+, I’m effectively conscious that my soapbox shouldn’t be particularly giant.
However for these of us within the know, possibly that’s for one of the best.
Jared Newman covers private know-how from his distant Cincinnati outpost. He additionally publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech recommendation and Cord Cutter Weekly for assist with ditching cable or satellite tv for pc TV.