In a surprise announcement, YouTube has announced it will pull all of its original content out from behind its Premium paywall, letting users enjoy an ad-supported version of shows like “Cobra Kai,” “Impulse,” “Step Up: High Water” and the big-budget sci-fi series “Origin”.
In an official statement the company says they plan to continue to invest in scripted programming and shift to make their YouTube Originals ad supported to meet the growing demand of a more global fanbase.
In layman’s terms, YouTube’s attempts at original scripted content via YouTube Premium has not been the success story they’d hoped for. As a result, they likely won’t be investing in as many scripted shows and will shift towards more celebrity-driven or creator-based reality projects with the format’s own homegrown stars getting better utilised.
By 2020, YouTube’s original shows and movies will be available in free windows for all of YouTube’s two billion users. In the near term some original productions will remain behind the paywall including the second season of “Cobra Kai”.
Speaking of free VOD the streaming service Kanopy, which is completely free to those with a library card, has struck a deal with A24 that will see 72 films from A24’s catalog streaming free on the service. These include major award winners and contenders like “Moonlight,” “Lady Bird,” “The Florida Project,” “First Reformed” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”.