An unprecedented number of people around the globe are being told to stay at home as a public health measure in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. But just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to be bored.
Here’s a roundup of just some of the many digital items that companies and individuals are giving away for free during the current crisis for folks who are working or playing from home while self-quarantined/practicing social distancing. And make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the list for a collection of resources that are always available for free.
I’m also throwing in a few goodies that are free for a limited time, so make sure to note the start and end times when relevant.
Another thing to note — these deals are all available in the United States, where I’m located. International availability will likely vary by region and product or service.
- Stadia Pro 2-month subscription for free – Google (new and existing customers in 14 countries, rolls out starting April 8, 2020)
- 27 PC games for free – GOG
- Free games and trials (Rayman Legends, Might & Magic Chess Royale, and more) – Ubisoft
- Cards Against Humanity Family Edition print & play public beta – CAH
Free eBooks, audiobooks, and digital comics
- Amazon Kindle Unlimited 2-month subscription – Amazon (through June 30, 2020)
- Scribd 30-day subscription – Scribd
- ComiXology Unlimited 60-day subscription – ComiXology
- Read select Marvel Comics for free from May 5 – June 2 – Marvel Unlimited
- Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol.5 (400-page digital comic collection) – 2000ad
- Dozens of audiobooks for kids (and “literary classics”) – Audible
- Over 110 Sesame Street eBooks available free on “all major eBook platforms – Sesame Workshop
- Free eBooks (classics, kid’s stories, and series starters) – Kobo
- 3 eBooks for free – Paulo Coelho
- 28 children’s eBooks for free – Google Play (via /r/googleplaydeals)
- List of free sci-fi & fantasy eBooks, digital magazines, and more – Jim C Hines
- Free content for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablet users – Amazon (partners including Showtime, HBO, CBS, PBS, and Sling)
- Watch 34 Netflix documentary videos (movies and TV episodes) for free on YouTube – YouTube/Netflix
- Stream select originals for free – Apple TV+ (requires app, but no subscription)
- Stream Battlestar Galactica for free (the complete series + movies) – SyFy
- Stream select content from AMC/BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV for free in April – AMC Networks
- Stream 500 hours of popular TV shows and movies from HBO for free – HBO
- 40+ children’s TV shows free to stream – Amazon
- Roku Home Together offers 30-day free trials of Showtime, Epix, Acorn, A&E, History Vault, and more channels – Roku
- Stream every episode of Samurai Jack for free – Adult Swim
- Stream every Metalocalypse episode for free – Adult Swim
- Plex lets you watch live TV for free through June – Plex (no Plex Pass required, TV tuner and antenna still required, DVR and other Plex Pass features not included)
- Sailor Moon Seasons 1-3 will stream on YouTube from April 24 – July 23 (new episodes each week) – YouTube (via CrunchyRoll)
- One free streaming class per week (Wednesdays at 8PM ET/5PM PT) – MasterClass
- Download two new Nine Inch Nails albums for free – NIN
- Songkick Live Stream concert listings – Songkick
- Bandsintown Watch Live notifications for musicians’ Twitch, YouTube, IGTV, Facebook, and StageIt live streams – Bandsintown
- SiriusXM lets you stream free through May 30
- 30-day Amazon Music HD subscription
Free Content creation tools
- Pro Tools, Media Composer, and Sibelius 90-day licenses – Avid
- Reaper digital audio workstation free to use through June, 2020 – Reaper
- Logic Pro X 90 day free trial – Apple
- Ableton Live 90 day free trial – Ableton
- Minimoog Model D synthesizer app for iOS – App Store
- Unlimited podcast recording hours and unlimited participants – Zencastr
Always-free streaming services:
- Baen – Free eBooks and short stories
- Crackle – Ad-supported movies and TV shows
- Facebook Watch – Ad-supported original shows and select TV series (like Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- Google Arts & Culture – virtual tours of 2,500 museums
- Khan Academy – Free online courses in dozens of subjects
- Hoopla – Free movies, TV shows, eBooks, and audiobooks (requires a library card from a participating library)
- IMDB TV – Ad-supported TV shows and movies
- Internet Archive – Free eBooks, movies, music, and more (including 6,000+ MS-DOS games to play in a web browser)
- Kanopy – Thousands of great movies for free (ad-free too), but requires library or university login and there may be a limit to how much you can watch in a month)
- LibriVox – Free public domain audiobooks
- ManyBooks – Free and discounted eBooks
- OverDrive – Borrow eBooks and audiobooks (requires library card from participating library and you may have to wait in line for popular titles — the company’s Libby app is also great for browsing, reading, and listening on Android and iOS devices)
- Plex Watch Free – Ad-supported movies and TV shows
- Pluto TV – Hundreds of live TV channels and thousands of movies (ad-supported)
- Project Gutenberg – Tens of thousands of (mostly public domain) eBooks
- Roku Channel – Ad-supported movies and TV shows (no Roku required)
- Sling TV Happy Hour Across America – Stream 50+ live TV channels for free between 5:00 PM and midnight, and access cloud DVR plus 50K+ on-demand titles. No credit card required.
- Sling TV – The new Stay in & Sling collection offers select live and on-demand TV for free (ad-supported)
- Spotify – Ad-supported music streaming
- Tubi – Ad-supported movies and TV shows
- Vudu – Selection of ad-supported TV shows and movies
- YouTube – I don’t really have to explain this one, do I?
TV Network apps and websites
These usually offer a selection of ad-supported content from currently-running TV shows, but if you don’t subscribe to a cable or satellite service, you may be limited to watching just a handful of the most recently-aired episodes:
And a personal favorite of mine has been available for free online for a few years — every Elfquest comic published before 2014 is available to read at Elfquest.com.
Webcams may be harder to find these days, but not only is the Lenovo 500 FHD Webcam still in stock at Lenovo.com, but …
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