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Mobile networks with freebie entertainment subscriptions

Entertainment icons with SIM card

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We rank the UK mobile providers that include free subscriptions to streaming services or apps with their SIM only deals and phone contracts. Last updated: 7th October 2022

How free trials with mobile contracts work

What you get with these free trial benefits

Thumbs up and a discount ribbon

Some mobile networks offer free trials to certain entertainment services that they’ve partnered with in order to add extra value to their SIM only plans and phone contracts, to make them more appealing.

These are usually offered by larger, more expensive providers to justify their larger price tags. It’s good if you like the trials being offered, but if not you might be better off just joining a cheaper network.

It’s important to note that only one network gives you free access to a service throughout your entire contract. The others only offer it for a limited time, after which you’ll start paying for the service with your monthly bill.

There’s also a big difference between genuine free trials and plans that come with entertainment subscriptions at a higher cost. We’ll list both here and say whether we think they’re good value options.

Useful link: Skip to the best networks

How we rank different free trial schemes

A gold rosette and a phone streaming

Not every free entertainment scheme is the same. As we said above, some networks offer them for your whole contract where others are time limited. The longer a trial is offered the more value you’re getting out of it.

We’ll also look at the value of each trial. After all, you’re not saving much by getting a free trial on an expensive plan, when you could just take a cheaper plan and the entertainment service separately and potentially save money.

On top of that, we rate networks higher if they offer these trials on every plan rather than reserving them for more expensive ones. Again, it’s hardly a freebie if you have to pay more to get it.

Finally, we’ll go over the extra benefits you can get with these trials such as whether you can stream them without using data, cast them to devices with larger screens and what the trial actually gives you.

Useful link: Skip to the best networks

The best networks for free entertainment trials

1st: EE - free trials offered on all plans with some premium plans as well

Entertainment on EE banner

Every plan comes with at least somethingWhat you get

at ee.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

EE are by far the best network for offering free entertainment trials. On any pay monthly plan (12-month contract or over) you’ll get a 6 months free trial to Apple Music and Apple News+ as well as a 3 months trial for Apple TV+.

You can activate these at any time during your contract. But bear in mind, once the trial period is over, you will automatically start paying for these trials if you forget to cancel them.

It’s great that you get all of these trials rather than having to pick just one. And the data you use on Apple Music won’t come out of your allowance during your trial, but it will on the other apps.

There are other subscriptions you can get as “Smart Benefits”. These are extras that are offered on EE’s larger plans, such as a subscription to Netflix or BT Sport. But since you’re paying more to get these, we wouldn’t call them freebies.

Overall, there’s a good mix of free and premium entertainment benefits to look at with EE. But it is important to know that EE is one of the pricier networks already. You’ll have to weigh up whether the free trials are worth the extra price.

Useful link: Compare Smart plans against EE’s regular range

2nd: iD Mobile - some free trials on low-cost deals

iD Mobile free Apple Music banner

Already one of the cheapest UK networksSee this benefit

at idmobile.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

iD Mobile are another network that offer multiple free trials to entertainment services. In fact they offer trials to the exact same services as EE, with 5 months free Apple Music, Apple News and Apple TV+ trials offered on most plans.

Unlike EE, these trials come on every phone or SIM only plan, even the very cheapest ones on 1-month contracts. And iD are already one of the cheapest UK networks, meaning you’re getting value on top of value with iD.

If you’re only looking for value, then iD might be the better choice. But they don’t offer any subscriptions on pricier plans like EE do. And the data you use on Apple Music will come out of your allowance unlike with EE.

But overall, we really appreciate the fact that a cheaper network like iD Mobile offer something like this as it’s usually only the more expensive networks that do this. It makes them an even more appealing choice for value hunters.

Useful link: Our full review of iD Mobile

3rd: Vodafone - choose a subscription on pricier Entertainment plans

Vodafone Red entertainment

Some free trials to add anytimeSee subscriptions

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

By adding an entertainment service to your Vodafone bill, you can get either 6 months free discovery+, 3 months Spotify Premium or 1 month Youtube Premium. You can cancel these whenever, so you don’t have to keep paying.

And you can get each one of these separately and activate them whenever you like. The trials aren’t quite as generous as the networks above, but they’re still a nice extra to get more out of your plan.

Otherwise you can take one of Vodafone’s premium Entertainment plans. These are pricier than their regular range but get you a subscription to Spotify Premium, Youtube Premium or Amazon Prime to last your whole contract.

We’d recommend checking the price of the plan against taking a non-Entertainment plan and a subscription separately, as the extra cost of the deal might mean you’re not actually saving anything by taking it.

So Vodafone offer a few entertainment benefits, but nothing that really sticks out.

Useful link: Add a free entertainment trial to your Vodafone account

4th: O2 - get one trial on pricier premium plans

Mobile phones sharing data on EE

One trial to an Amazon service of your choiceRead more

at o2.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

Only the two networks above offer free trials to entertainment services at no added cost on most of their plans. O2 only get you one trial of your choice on their pricier plans.

You can choose a trial to Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited or to Audible on tariffs with at least 5GB on a phone contract or 12GB on SIM only currently. The pricier your tariff, the longer your trial lasts.

If you’re on their minimum tariff range then you’ll get 3 months. If you’re on a larger plan you’ll get 6 months. Overall, you just don’t get as much out of your O2 plan as you do on EE or on iD Mobile.

But if you’re set on going with O2, then it’s definitely a nice benefit to get with your plan. We’d still recommend weighing up the cost vs going with a cheaper network and getting the entertainment service separately.

Useful link: Cheaper providers on O2’s network

5th: BT - access to the BT Sport app on pricier plans

BT Sport app banner

Watch your favourite sports on the goSee this benefit

at bt.com
(opens in a new window)

While the networks above give you multiple separate trials or give you a choice of a few, BT Mobile give you free access to the BT Sport app (worth £10 a month). It comes on their more-premium plans.

It lets you stream your favourite sports on the go, as well as highlights and news. But you can’t cast to other devices to enjoy it on a larger screen. And the data you use will still come out of your allowance.

It’s a pretty nice extra, especially since it lasts the entirety of your contract rather than being time-limited. And if you want to keep on top of the latest sports, we think you’ll really like this benefit.

It’s not a perfect scheme, but some users will like it. You can still get it even if you’re already getting the £5 BT broadband customer discount. Overall, a nice benefit to have.

Useful link: See BT’s guide to the BT Sports app

6th: Virgin Mobile - only one free trial to their online security service

Virgin Mobile F Secure banner

Extra online protection and controls to keep your kids safeSee this scheme

at virginmedia.com
(opens in a new window)

The only free trial Virgin Mobile offer is a 3 months free subscription to their Virgin Media Internet Security add-on. This gives you extra protection against viruses and lets you set time and content limits on users. It’s something parents of young children might like.

But for most people it’ll be a pretty tame benefit. The added protection might give you some peace of mind, and it’s a nice way to test it out before getting it for the long-term after the trial is up (it’s worth £3 a month currently).

In all, it’s a bit of a disappointment for Virgin Mobile since they’re part of a larger company that offer TV and broadband services. In fairness, they’re already a cheaper network so you could be saving more joining them anyway.

It’d be good if Virgin offered some other free trials, but their online security trial isn’t bad for what it is.

Useful link: The best networks for parents buying for kids

Last place: All other networks!

Sky Mobile logoThree logoPlusnet Mobile logogiffgaff logoHonest Mobile logoLebara logoLycamobile logoSMARTY logoTalkmobile logoTesco logoVOXI logo

These networks don’t offer any free trialsCompare SIM deals

at simsherpa.com
(opens in a new window)

Finally, we come to the networks that don’t offer any free trials or entertainment subscriptions. There are some we’d expect, but a few that are notably missing despite being part of a larger entertainment brand.

We’d expect low-frills, low-cost networks like Talkmobile, VOXI, SMARTY and others to not offer free trials. But it is notable that iD do offer them despite being low-frills, so we might see some others do something similar.

The notable exceptions are Plusnet Mobile and Sky Mobile. While they’re generally low-cost, both are part of a larger brand that offer TV services. So it’s strange they offer no free trials to their mobile customers.

Three are the only main network to not offer free trials. We have seen a couple free trials in the past on their Three+ app, but they currently offer none. But these offers are always changing, so we’ll update this page if they offer something.

Again, it’s not necessary for networks to offer free trials and subscriptions. In some cases you can get better value overall by just going with a cheaper network and getting a subscription separately. Still, it’s worth knowing which ones offer them.

Useful link: Compare SIM only deals

SIM only deals with subscriptions included



1p Mobile logo
Three logo
ASDA logo
Boshhh Mobile logo
Coop Mobile logo
EE logo
Genius logo
giffgaff logo
Honest logo
ID logo
IQ logo
Lebara logo
Lycamobile logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
spusu logo
Talkhome logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo


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