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Subscription Companies Offer Free Services During Coronavirus Pandemic
From:
Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Boston , MA
Monday, March 23, 2020

 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more subscriptioncompanies are hopping on the bandwagon to make working from home and socialdistancing a bit easier. From communication tools and free educationalsubscriptions to entertainment and sports, subscription services are hoping toease the burden of isolation. Here are a few of the offerings we’ve run across,some we have covered before and some which are new to the party.

Communication

80 Broadband and Internet Providers Pledge to KeepAmericans Connected

On March 13, Federal Communications Commission Chair AjitPai announced that more than 80 broadband and telephone service providers andtrade associations took a pledge to “Keep AmericansConnected” during the coronavirus pandemic. The FCC chair and staffcalled the providers and associations to ask them to commit to the followingfor the next 60 days:

You May Be Interested In:
  1. Not terminate service to any residential orsmall business customers due to inability to pay their bills due to thedisruptions caused by the pandemic,
  2. Waive any late fees that residential and smallbusiness customers incur because of a change in economic circumstances due tothe coronavirus pandemic, and
  3. Open up WiFi hotspots to any American who needsthem

Among the providers who took the “Keep Americans Connected”pledge are AT&T, T-Mobile, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, CenturyLink, Charter,Sprint and others. See the Education section below for education-relatedofferings from the country’s top communications providers.

Education

Some of the nation’s top internet and wireless providers aretaking it one step further to promote social distancing and to provide learningopportunities for children who can no longer attend school. CharterCommunications announced it would offer free access to Spectrumbroadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for new K-12 and college student households whodo not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees willbe waived.

Charter also said it will partner with school districts toensure they are aware of the program and how they can better support studentswith remote learning. Spectrum, which does not have data caps, will also makeits Wi-Fi hotspots available for public use. ABC News reported that T-Mobilewould provide unlimited smartphone data to current subscribers and increase thedata allowance to schools and students using their digital learning programs.

Classrooms may empty but free educational resources are available online.

Xfinity notified its customers that it would offernew educational content for all grade levels, in partnership with Common SenseMedia. To access that content, Xfinity customers can say “education” into theirX1 or Flex Voice Remote. The company is also monitoring network reliability,recognizing their may be spikes in broadband usage.

Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is offering freelearning opportunities to help adults connect and collaborate, while easing thestress of working at home. LinkedIn’s free courses include working remotely,time management, productivity tips, how to use Microsoft Teams for collaborationand virtual meetings, and how to project an executive presence on virtually.Visit LinkedInLearning online for additional course titles and access.

With so many schools and daycares closing, parents want tokeep their children entertained while providing learning opportunities. RangerRick is offering free digital subscriptions through the end of June. Sign uponline at RangerRick.org.

From lastweek’s Five on Friday, here are a few other subscription services offeringfree learning materials for children. Many operate on the freemium model withsome offerings available for free and premium features for a monthly or annualsubscription fee. See more subscriptions for kids at GoodHousekeeping.com.

Entertainment

Apple Musicis offering music lovers a free three-month subscription to its music libraryof 60 million songs. There is no obligation and no long-term commitment. Afterthe 90-day free trial, Apple Music users can subscribe for $4.99 a month forstudents, $9.99 a month for individuals, or $14.99 a month for families. Musicis available to listen to online or off, and it can be accessed across multipledevices, including iOS and Android devices. Users can download up to 100,000songs.

Last week ScribdCEO Trip Adler announced that the company would make its service available forfree to anyone for 30 days, including access to fiction and nonfiction ebooks,audiobooks, magazine articles and more. No credit card or commitment is required.

Sling TVlaunched “Stayin and SLING,” free access to some of Sling TV’s content including news, TVshows and movies for a limited time. Available online at Sling.com, and on Roku,Android and Amazon devices, content includes ABC News Live, a 24/7 news channelwith continuing coverage of COVID-19. Users who want to upgrade to premiumcontent can do so at a discount.

Streaming service Starzannounced that it will offer fee access to certain titles, including Vida andBlack Sails, through the app without a subscription through the end of March,reports ComingSoon.net.Starz is also offering a special promo to sign up for a special offer for threemonths at $4.99 a month.

Global Citizen has partnered with theWorld Health Organization (WHO) to bring a series of free livestreamed concertsto viewers. The series, called “Together, At Home,” kicked off last week withColdplay’s Chris Martin who played a virtual solo concert on Instagram, takingrequests from the audience. Since then, John Legend, OneRepublic,Common, Camila Cabello and other artists have participated.

VirtualMuseum Tours

GoodHousekeeping also brings a great list of virtual museum tours youcan take from the comfort of your living room. This is a fun way to travel,learn and be entertained all at once – for free. You can’t visit any of thesemuseums in person right now, but you don’t need a membership to take thevirtual tour.

For more virtual tours, visit GoodHousekeeping.com.

Sports

TheNFL will offer free access to NFL GamePass to U.S. users now through May 31, reports Digital Trends.Fans outside the U.S. and Canada can access the NFL’s premium product throughJuly 31. Content includes replays of NFL games from 2009 through 2019 as wellas original NFL programming and access to the NFL films archives. Interestedfans can visitNFL.com/GamePass for more information, or sign up through the NFL GamePass app.

TheNBA is offering free access too, but theyare doing it differently. They are calling their NBA League Pass offer a “freepreview.” Through April 22, basketball fans can watch full length and condensedreplays of all games from the 2019-20 as well as archives of classic games andNBA content. Interested fans can redeem the offer by signing into theiraccounts on NBA.com orthrough the NBA app.

TheNHL is following suit. While its seasonis on hold, fans are invited to watch any 2019-20 hockey game for free bylogging into their NHL.com account or going to NHL.com/tv tostream on their favorite device.

Toencourage physical and mental fitness as well as social distancing, Nike haslaunched a new campaign, “PlayInside, Play for the World.” As part of the campaign, Nike is offeringits NTC Premium subscription at no charge. The service offers studio-style streamingworkouts, progressive training programs, coaching, motivation, nutrition tipsand more.

Miscellaneous

Some food delivery services like Uber Eats and restaurantslike Panera are waiving delivery fees. The fee waiver typically applies toorders over $15. Food delivery service options, restaurants and fees will varyby area, so please check your local area for details.

News

During the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, news publishers in the U.S. are stepping up to keep readers informed. Columbia Journalism Review reports that news outlets including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Atlantic, the Seattle Times, the Napa Valley Register and the McClatchy papers are bringing down their paywalls, at least for coronavirus-related stories, to nonsubscribers. Readers may still have to create accounts to access the content, but they won’t have to pay to read Covid-19 stories and access important information.

Fox is also offering free, unlimited news accessduring the COVID-19 crisis, no subscription or authentication required.According to MediaPost, Fox will work with its paid TV partners to ensure that viewers canaccess their news programming.

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