In the Series 2 box days, TiVo had a variation of this, "TiVo Basic." A 2-day Guide, IIRC, no Season Pass capability, and other limitations. (It didn't have advertising--I don't believe that TiVo was yet doing that, then.) It came free with your box, with the offer that you could upgrade to a paid subscription, including Lifetime. I assume that the idea was, get the users' toes wet, so that they then want the full package (at a fee); as well as, provide a lower entry barrier, for more cost-conscious consumers. It worked on me (TiVo had announced that the opportunity to buy Lifetime was going to be discontinued, and I thought that I might want it, and so got in before it did (it came back years later)).