As Americans hunker down to see how the coronavirus quarantine plays out (so far, not great) some households now grapple with a secondary pandemic: boredom. But even if you’ve hit level 256 of Netflix, fear not! If this week’s headlines were any indication, plenty of companies are happy to give you a free taste of their wares.
The coronavirus doesn’t care how famous you are or how much money you make, it’s an equal opportunity infector. That’s why some of the richest and most famous footballers on the planet have joined forces for your entertainment. They’re participating in EA’s FIFA 20 charity gaming tournament, the “Stay and Play Cup” which aims to raise a million dollars to help the COVID-19 recovery effort. Now let’s see if their thumbs are as nimble as their feet.
With ISPs across the country already feeling the strain of an entire nation Netflix-and-chilling, Google has plans to stress networks even further through the magic of game streaming. The company announced last week that both new and existing Stadia subscribers will receive a two months of free service, even if you haven’t bought Google’s hardware bundle.
If you (quite rightly) don’t trust Zoom for your video conferencing needs, Google has stepped up and is offering its Meet service — you used to know it as hangouts — for free until the end of the summer. Now your video call with Nana won’t be interrupted by porn vids... unless that’s what you’re into.
Following HBO’s lead from last week, Apple has announced that it will lower the paywall around a number of its original shows including Little America, Servant, For All Mankind, Ghostwriter, and The Elephant Queen. There’s no word on how long they’ll be free so get to binge watching. Not like you have anywhere to go.
One company that noticeably has not made a portion of its library available without charge is Disney+. It’s not like Disney is hurting for income. Sure, ESPN+ has cratered what with the lack of sports and all, but the streaming service now boasts 50 million subscribers less than half a year after launch. And you’re telling me that they can’t at least hook us up with some Brave Little Toaster in our time of need? Then again, Disney holds more sway than the UN at this point so I guess it can generally do what it wants.