The Rise of 7 Day FREE Video Service Promotions

Past Telogical Talks

Welcome to Telogical Talk, a weekly series where we analyze a slice of the competitive intelligence data collected by the Telogical research team.

As our childhood friends on Sesame Street might say, this week's Telogical Talk is brought to you by the Number 7


The rise of OTT video services corresponds directly with the availability of consumer-owned streaming devices with the ability to run their apps.

Freed of the anchor (or tether, depending on one's POV) of set-top boxes, video service providers have gone fishing with the tempting lure of free trials-- typically 7 days in length.  


Why 7 days? Ask a psychologist or a mathematician, and they'll come to the same conclusion: the number 7 has a special appeal.

The best-known vMVPD names offer 7 days of free service in an industry built on monthly subscriptions. Customers readily perceive the value of ~1/4 month free regardless of how spectacularly bad my fellow Americans are at answering basic math questions. 

Getting beyond 7 days, 1 month free leads the D2C standalone offerings from the likes of Netflix and HBO. Since individual SVOD services have lower prices than vMVPDs, one week of free service is unlikely to resonate with customers. Notably CBS All Access, Showtime and STARZ remain in the 7 day camp. Perhaps the number 7 has enough magic to help those providers meet their acquisition targets, but keep an eye on these "holdouts."

Traditional cable providers have been getting in on the act with IP-delivered services. These differ from OTT offerings because they are tied to cable internet subscriptions. 

Spectrum launched its OTT-fighter video option, TV Choice, with a 7 day free promotion, although the "free" period appears as a credit on a monthly bill.

Enabled by X1 technology, Comcast brought back it's Xfinity Watchathon (another 7 day window ending April 22,) and extended the free preview to internet-only customers. Comcast's OTT-fighterInstant TV, meanwhile, includes 1 free month. 

At Telogical, we’re always studying the competitive landscape. If you have a topic you’d like to discuss with us, please reach out. We look forward to working with you.

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