Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Picard on Star Trek: Picard, announced on Twitter last week that ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC), which hosts the TV program on its CBS All Access streaming video service, was giving consumers free access to the service for a month.

As more people practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, they have available to them more streaming video choices than ever before. It is giving streaming services such as All Access an unprecedented opportunity to introduce their programming to a largely captive audience that may subscribe beyond the free trial or after the pandemic passes.

Woman standing in front of numerous video screens

Image source: Getty Images.

Video everywhere

The number of streaming services has exploded in recent years, but analysts estimate consumers will only pay for and maintain a small handful of them. Because of this, many question how long some streaming platforms can survive.

Disney's new Disney+ has proven to be a huge success that has attracted tens of millions of viewers, many through a one-year free trial with services like Verizon that want to tap that well of opportunity themselves. A free trial during a time when people are only supposed to leave the home for essential trips could be the vehicle that introduces consumers to a service they will keep.

ViacomCBS intends to scale up All Access by adding to the service 30,000 TV episodes from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Smithsonian Channel as well as 1,000 movies from Paramount Pictures.

To take advantage of the month-long free trial, which ends April 23, viewers need to enter the promo code "GIFT."