Tim Cook Apple TV+Source: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple is extending the trial period for early adopters of Apple TV+ by three months.
  • Anyone with a year-long subscription is getting a free extension, too.
  • Anyone paying for Apple TV+ month-to-month will get a $4.99 credit from November 2020 through January 2021.

For Apple TV+ customers whose free, year-long trial was set to end in the next few weeks, Apple is extending the trial period by three months. If you subscribed to Apple TV+ in the initial few months after launch, either through the one-year free trial or with a yearly subscription, you won't have to start paying or renew your subscription until at least the start of February 2021.

When you actually start paying depends on when your trial or year-long subscription started. For instance, if you signed up on day one, like I did for the free trial, your new payment cycle should start on February 1. If you signed up later in November, you'll pay later in February.

While a lot of this move focuses on trial and year-long subscribers, Apple doesn't want to leave those paying month-to-month out of the deal. From November through January, month-to-month customers will also be getting a $4.99 credit for each month for their subscription.

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This move makes a lot of sense. Since the pandemic began, I've wondered if Apple would extend the Apple TV+ trial into another year. Most of the shows that the service launched with, and that Apple later renewed, hadn't completed production (and in some cases, didn't get to start) on their second seasons before the outbreak, and I believe Apple hoped to be into the new seasons of at least some of those shows by the time it asked you to renew or start a subscription.

There's also the distinct possibility that this'll be a moot point for many Apple customers by the time February rolls around. Apple One, Apple's subscription service bundle, includes Apple TV+ in all of its tiers, and many customers could be paying for the bundle by the time Apple TV+ subscriptions are supposed to start.