YouTube TV free trial: How to try YouTube's live TV service before you buy

YouTube TV app on Google TV
(Image credit:

YouTube TV is the second-largest live TV streaming service in the United States, and for good reason. First is that the YouTube TV price is as competitive as any of the other options. Second is that the YouTube TV channels are as plentiful as any of the other options.

Third is that YouTube TV does a great job of luring you in a promotions and, perhaps most important, a free trial period.

So to answer your question? Yes, YouTube TV has a free trial.

Exactly how long that YouTube free trial period is may depend a little bit on when you're checking. Traditionally, YouTube TV has had a free seven-day trial. And, frankly, a week should be more than enough time to figure out if YouTube TV is something you want to spend money on.

But we've also seen a number of promotional periods in which YouTube TV has a two-week free trial. That is, 14 days during which you can use YouTube TV without paying a subscription fee.

And it's hard to beat that.

What channels do you get in the YouTube TV free trial?

Here's the really cool part: The YouTube TV free trial is just like if you were paying for it. So you get every YouTube TV channel here is — which is about 100 as of last count. That includes your local broadcast channels, which are available in most areas. It also includes the sort of channels you'd find on cable, like CNN or ESPN or ... well, pick one. Because with about 100 channels in the YouTube TV plan, there's plenty of overlap.

It's also worth mentioning that when you sign up for YouTube TV you'll be asked about "add-on" services. These are premium offerings that cost extra — they're not included in the YouTube TV price itself. A number of the premium add-ons come with their own free trials. These are separate from the YouTube TV free trial itself. So you could kick the tires of YouTube TV without and add-ons, get through that free period and start paying, and then decide that you want to take HBO Max for a spin. That free trial period will start separately and run its course.

The premium add-ons can have different trial periods — STARZ is five days, HBO Max is seven days, Showtime is 14 days — so be sure to look at the fine print as you're signing up.

Do you have to pay for the YouTube TV free trial?

Nope. It's a free trial. It costs nothing but the time it takes to sign up. The one thing you will have to do, however, is provide a payment method if you don't already have one set up within your Google account.

That's because one the YouTube TV free trial period is over, it'll seamlessly switch you over to the monthly billing cycle. And that's a good thing. Because once you get going, you're not going to want to stop.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.