Contract thrillers: how to get free TV and music on your next phone deal

Get your next phone contract with a side of free Spotify or Now TV...

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Whether a branded bracelet or a superfluous USB stick, there’s nothing like a gratis gift to make the day go better.

Don’t go thinking that goody giveaways are limited to the sort of plastic-wrapped stuff you usually find kicking around in a kitchen drawer, though. Smartphones are hot property in the world of retail and mobile providers are keener than ever to sign willing punters up to their latest deals – which means they’re offering up complimentary bundles like currency is going out of fashion.

Fancy free Sky Sports for six months? How about Spotify Premium? Whatever tickles your fancy, there’s never been a better time to be in the market for an upgrade. So, live like a sponsored celeb and peruse the fine range of contract freebies available for your delectation.

You want: free Spotify

Get it with: Vodafone

The freebie: six months of free Spotify Premium

Love going mobile with your music? Then you'll probably find it hard to say no to six months of free Spotify Premium. Aside from access to Spotify’s vast library of stellar sounds, Premium takes away the pain of interrupting adverts, as well as letting you download your favourite tracks for offline listening.

True audiophiles will also relish the higher quality streaming Premium offers, whilst unlimited skips are a boon for the impatient – not to mention the predictive DJ skills of Discover Weekly.

Want in on a world of easy listening? Vodafone offers Spotify Premium with a host of its phone packages, including:

– 10GB Red Value Bundle, with unlimited minutes and texts

25GB SIM-only deal, with unlimited minutes and texts (£25 p/month)

You want: free Apple Music

Get it with: EE

The freebie: six months of free Apple Music

Prefer your playlists a little fruitier? Apple Music might not have taken off to the same extent as Spotify, but, with a library of more than 30 million songs to stream right beside your existing iTunes library, it’s a clever choice for music lovers of a Cupertino disposition.

Personal recommendations should help the uninspired discover new material, while access to Connect – a social network bringing fans and artists together – ought to add some interactive flavour to your listening.

If Apple Music has your ears pricked up, check out EE’s range of offers for new and upgrading customers, which come bundled with Apple Music free for six months – including:

– 2GB 4GEE Essential plan, with 1000 minutes and unlimited texts

– 40GB 4GEE Max plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 8GB SIM-only plan, with unlimited minutes and texts (£20 p/month)

You want: free Deezer

Get it with: Three

The freebie: three months of free Deezer

As if that wasn’t enough choice for eager streamers, like an understudy bassoonist at a concert band rehearsal, Deezer has turned up uninvited, too.

Aping Apple Music on quantity, it offers more than 40 million tracks to enjoy ad-free, offline and basically wherever you like. Its Flow feature serves up a tailored feed of playlists and suggestions based on your listening habits, whilst streaming is a high quality affair, making it a swell selection for those of finer hearing.

Think Deezer sounds a doozy? Pick up one of Three’s packages for three months absolutely free. Here are a few of the best:

– 8GB Essential plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 12GB Advanced plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– Unlimited GB Advanced plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 4GB SIM-only Essential plan, with unlimited minutes and texts (£9 p/month)

You want: free Now TV

Get it with: Vodafone

The freebie: a six-month Now TV entertainment pass

More of a watcher than a listener? Check out NowTV’s entertainment offering, with its broad bunch of box sets, covering everything from the coarse humour of Amy Schumer to the grandparent-friendly drama of Downton Abbey.

Available for on-demand streaming across a host of devices, Now TV carries shows from Sky, ITV, Comedy Central and more, making easy work of an evening spent slouching on the sofa.

Whilst there are some regrettable omissions – largely thanks to an ongoing turf war with Netflix and Amazon Instant Video – there’s still plenty there to entertain, wherever you’re watching.

Vodafone offers a free half-year Now TV entertainment pass with a number of its deals, such as:

– 20GB Red Value Bundle, with unlimited minutes and texts

25GB SIM-only, with unlimited minutes and texts

You want: free BT Sport

Get it with: EE

The freebie: six months of free BT Sport (app-only)

If you prefer sports action to TV drama, try six months of free BT Sport. Home to a feast of footballing action – including Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League games – as well as Aviva Premiership Rugby, MotoGP and the Ashes, there should be something to get you cheering, whatever your discipline.

Sure, it’s app-only – so no there'll be no 4K feasting – but it’s hard to argue with live Champions League on the bus (or on your TV, if you have a Chromecast to pair it with).

Grab the gift with any of the following EE plans:

– 20GB 4GEE plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 7GB 4GEE Max plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 2GB SIM-only plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

You want: free Sky Sports

Get it with: Vodafone

The freebie: a year (or two) of free Sky Sports Mobile TV

Anything sporting that’s not streamed on BT Sport is probably shown on Sky – from WWE to F1, NFL to cricket, whilst football fans will relish the 126 Premier League games shown (84 more than BT) – which is good news, given that it’s thrown in free with several Vodafone contracts.

Stream as you like with access to Sky Sports 1 and 2 via the Mobile TV app, so you’ll never miss a big match again. SIM-only deals ship with 12 months of free sports streaming, whilst bigger bundles include a whopping 2 years.

Feeling sporty? Any of these packages will see you sorted:

– 5GB Red Value bundle, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 30GB Red Value bundle, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 25GB SIM-only plan, with unlimited minutes and texts (£25 p/month)

You want: free tethering

Get it with: Three

The freebie: 30GB of tethering per month

Buckets of data are all well and good, but what’s the use if you can’t share it? Thankfully, you can spread the surfing love with Three’s Personal Hotspots.

OK, so tethering is nothing new – but if it’s against the rules of your plan you can expect some serious trouble from your contract overlord. Not so with Three’s Advanced Plans: turn your data-enabled device into a hub of internet delight as you please, for plentiful tablet browsing.

Plans with unlimited data have a separate tethering allowance, whilst others simply share the same data as the main contract. Take your pick from any of these:

– 8GB Advanced plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 12GB Advanced plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 30GB SIM-only Advanced plan, with unlimited minutes and texts (from £20 p/month)

You want: free roaming

Get it with: Three, Vodafone, EE

Despite the Brexit vote, new EU regs should mean Continental tourists will soon benefit from free roaming – so your Pokémon Go hunting can continue unhindered, even as you board the ferry.

Take advantage of international internet with Three’s 'Feel At Home' freebie, which lets Advance Plan customers carry their UK deal abroad in 42 different countries from the end of September – from Austria to Australia. Plans include:

– 4GB Advanced Plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

– 12GB Advanced Plan, with unlimited minutes and texts

A little less generous but still worth considering, several of Vodafone’s Red bundles also throw in Euro-roaming, such as:

– 5GB Red Value Bundle, with 2GB of roaming data, unlimited minutes and texts

– 20GB Red Bundle, with 4GB of roaming data, unlimited minutes and texts

Finally, not to be left behind, EE is dishing out free foreign data, too, with the following packages:

– 1GB 4GEE plan, with 500MB EU roaming data, unlimited minutes and texts

– 3GB 4GEE Max plan, with 3GB EU roaming data, unlimited minutes and texts