12 free subscriptions to enjoy during lockdown

Get educated, get buff and get yourself off.

As stricter isolation measures get enforced globally, companies are doing their bit to help people who are bored at home. Here’s a list of subscriptions to keep you inspired, informed and entertained, now free due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 


The New York Times boasts impressive numbers: 5,241,00 total subscriptions across all print and digital – that’s more than The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the 250 American local papers combined. 

However, during the pandemic they’re laxing their £8‑a-month paywall by making their most important and useful coronavirus-related content free.

Sign up here for stories on how to protect and prepare yourself, Trump’s bailout plans for the economy and voices from travel’s frontline.


After offering free subscriptions in Italy, Spain and France (the three European countries worst hit by COVID-19), this morning the adult entertainment giants extended the offer to every viewer across the world. Available until 23rd April, the company’s Vice President Corey Price hopes the offer will give people an extra incentive” to stay home and flatten the curve.

In other news, Pornhub will also be donating 85 per cent of its video sales to performers who had to stop working due to pandemic.

This way for NSFW material.

Read this next: How porn has influenced our deepest desires


Originally started by Joe Gold in Venice Beach, California, the legendary gym has become a haven for beefcakes across the world, with 800 outposts in 30 different countries. Now the Muscle Beach-inspired gym is offering free access to its app, Goldsamp, until the end of May. 

Download the app to enjoy more than 600 audio and video workouts along with DJ mixes to get you ready for your out-of-quarantine comeback. 


On 9th March 2020, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a nationwide lockdown after 9,172 cases of coronavirus were reported in the country. Following a week of mandated quarantine, Vogue Italia gifted the world free unlimited access to their online archive until 13th June. With an advanced index system, users can search the high-resolution images by designer, photographer, brand and more – perfect for moodboarding and general browsing. 

Browse every issue scanned from 1964 to present here using the code: VARCHIVE4YOU


With the BFI Flare, London’s biggest LGBTIQ+ film festival, cancelled early last week due to the worsening corona outbreak, the British FIlm Institute have opened up their extensive library of classic queer movies. 

See the festival’s Senior Programmer, Michael Blyth’s, eight favourite selects here, then head to their player for self-isolation boredom busting. 

Read this next: 13 queer films to watch


Study Hall is a media newsletter and online support network for freelance writers. Every Monday, the company sends out a report to its 3,000+ subscribers with news, tips for pitching, job opportunities and exclusive editor and journalist Q&As.

While it usually costs $4 a month, they’ve recently started an non-paywall opportunities digest for struggling readers who have had work dry up due to coronavirus.

Sign up here for potential jobs and a round-up of their community’s best WFH fits.


The music industry – like most – has been hit hard by the pandemic, with artists’ touring schedules crumbling and studios shut across the world. To help musicians stuck at home and out of pocket, synth manufacturers Moog and Korg have made two of their synthesiser apps (the Minimoog Model D and Kaossilator, respectively) available for free download on the app store. 

Korg’s Kaossilator usually costs £17.99 and is mainly for making tracks based on layering loops, while Moog’s Minimoog Model D will normally set you back £4.99 and is a faithful visual reproduction of its hardware version. 


With schools and universities shut for the rest of the year, The Open University has expanded their free online learning catalogue to help stop everyone’s brains from turning to mush. 

Take a break from Netflix and indulge in an introductory, 30-hour course on art and life in Ancient Egypt, a four-hour deep dive into Ghanaian textiles or a 15-hour study of Gaelic in modern Scotland, all available at here.


New York’s one stop spot for the modern and contemporary art MoMA is offering a series of free online art courses following its closure in March.

Become an art expert by taking the 17-hour long What is contemporary art? seminar analysing 70 works made from 1980 through till the present. Or, brush up on your fashion knowledge with a 21-hour deep dive into Fashion as design, where designers, historians and manufacturers will guide you through 70 pivotal garments and accessories of the last few decades.


I Should be Doing Something Else Right Now is the latest offering from London arts centre Somerset House. Taking its name from the prematurely closed exhibition, the online cultural programme will feature newly commissioned content anchored off this foretelling tagline.

Launched on 17th April and taking place throughout summer, expect artist-led workshops for progressive music making in isolation, opportunities to meet” industry peers and innovators over Zoom and work from Mykki Blanco, Tai Shani and Anne Duffau. Head to som​er​set​house​.org for more.


With cinemas and galleries closed due to COVID-19, Boiler Room’s free video streaming site 4:3 will be live broadcasting new films weekly until the end of May.

Self-dubbed as the Netflix for the underground”, expect bold documentaries on AI songwriting during the 2065 Olympics, Phil Collins’ futuristic anime Delete Beach and a sun-drenched deep dive into the Mafia in Palermo.

Most of the films will be available to playback throughout the coming weeks, so head this way for mind-expanding content.



Film festivals play an important role in helping independent films break into the mainstream. Parasite’s eight minute standing ovation at Cannes helped draw enough attention to the film to rightfully crown it the first Korean film to clinch four Oscars, including Best Picture, back in February. Meanwhile the applause and praise generated by Call Me By Your Name at Sundance saw the film net $49.1 million (from a $3.5 million budget) once it hit the box office.

Now that Cannes has been officially postponed and with Venice, Toronto, Tribeca and London all heading the same way, YouTube and Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and Venice film festivals, among others, are launching an internet-based film festival on 29th May to ensure such superb filmmaking doesn’t slip under radar.

The festival will stream for free, but viewers will be asked to donate to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund. Keep your eyes peeled for feature lengths, documentaries, shorts and panel events that would have premiered at the world’s most prestigious film festivals.

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