Sling TV halts free trials on its website

Sling TV has halted free trials through its website but the live streaming TV service hasn’t backed away from the practice entirely.

TV Answer Man’s Phillip Swann noted over the weekend that the Sling TV website had taken away the three-day free trial for both its Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages. Sling TV’s customer service team on Twitter confirmed the change.

However, Sling TV said that free trials are still available for the service, just not on the website.

“Sling TV is always testing new offers for both subscribers and non-subscribers. While there is currently no free trial offer available through the website, there are free trials available for select on-device sign ups. Both subscribers and non-subscribers can also check out Sling Free where they can view free content anytime,” the company said in a statement.

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Free trials have long been a popular customer acquisition tool for subscription services. But in the past year, several major SVODs including Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max have gotten rid of the feature.

At the Stream TV Growth Summit last month, nScreenMedia analyst Colin Dixon asked a group of executives from streaming services including YouTube TV and Discovery about the future of free trials.

Esther Ahn, head of user experience at YouTube TV, said she still believes free trials are key in promoting transparency and authenticity in the eyes of consumers. She said it’s still important for people to be able to experience a product before they sign up.

“I believe in that and hopefully we can continue with it,” she said.