YouTube to make its exclusive shows and movies free to all users in battle with Netflix and Amazon
- YouTube Premium will no longer have exclusive access to original programs
- Earlier this month, YouTube began showing ad-supported movies for first time
YouTube plans to make all of its future original programming available to users for free with advertising as it battles against Netflix, Amazon and others.
The video streaming unit of Alphabet Inc’s Google seeks a bigger audience for shows and movies that had mostly been restricted to its paid subscribers.
The shift in strategy means YouTube Premium will no longer have exclusive access to original programs starting next year, removing one of the main benefits of the subscription offering.
YouTube plans to make all of its future original programming available to users for free with advertising, as it seeks a bigger audience for its shows and movies.
YouTube’s paid option also removes ads and comes with music streaming privileges.
The company said the move was aimed at satisfying growing international user interest in original programming and advertiser demand to associate with special content.
1.9 billion people visit YouTube monthly.
Previously released original programming in YouTube Premium will remain behind the paywall, the company said.
Earlier this month, YouTube quietly began showing ad-supported movies for the first time, giving viewers access to Hollywood titles including ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Legally Blonde’ for free.
It started promoting the free feature-length films in the movie section of the site in October, where it has sold movies and shows for years, according to AdAge.
However, there are only about 100 movies available for ad-supported viewing on YouTube so far, and many of them are titles such as Kevin James in ‘Zookeeper’ and ‘Agent Cody Banks.’
There are some classics like ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Rocky,’ however, and youTube said the selection will be expanding.
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