Technology giant Apple (AAPL -0.75%) is allowing users to watch select shows for free on its streaming channel, Apple TV+, according to a report from Variety. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept a huge number of the global population at home due to countrywide lockdowns and as part of social distancing measures. This has increased demand for established streaming services like Netflix.

Apple TV+ shows that can be streamed for free include The Elephant Queen, Little America, Servant, For All Mankind, Dickinson, Ghostwriter, and Helpsters. These shows are available for free in over 100 countries and can be accessed via the Apple TV application.

A streaming platform

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Apple is not the first streaming platform to allow users to watch free content. Earlier this month, WarnerMedia's HBO announced that American viewers can watch a few select shows, documentaries, and movies for free in the month of April.

Comcast's(CMCSA -0.82%) entertainment subsidiary NBC Universal will launch its streaming service, Peacock, for free to some Comcast customers, according to one Reuters report. Starting today, the ad-supported version of this service will be available at no extra charge to customers who have subscribed to Comcast's Flex TV or Xfinity X1. Comcast's free library includes over 15,000 hours of content; Peacock is expected to officially launch on July 15, including a more expensive tier for ad-free viewing.

It is quite possible that technology companies including Apple TV+ are providing streaming services for free in the hope that a significant number of these viewers will turn into paid subscribers once the coronavirus threat is under control and the economy is up and running. Apple TV+ launched in November 2019 and ended the year with 33 million subscribers.