YouTube is stepping up their game as the site is now offering free movies for users to stream as they try to compete with the likes of Netflix. While YouTube is still one of the biggest sites around, there is an increased demand for premium content and the cat video capital of the internet is lacking a bit in that department. As such, they're doing something Netflix currently doesn't do by offering free movies, albeit in a pretty limited supply for the time being.
Last month, YouTube started to roll out these free, ad-supported movies without making a terribly big deal about it. So nobody would blame anyone for not noticing. Currently, their offerings are limited to around 100 titles, including The Terminator, Legally Blonde, Agent Cody Banks and the Rocky franchise, among other titles. Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube, had this to say about their new venture.
"We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user? It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers."
Yes, the downside for many is that watching these movies on YouTube will require the user to sit through some ads, but it's a relatively small price to pay. There are several other streaming services attempting to make headway in the streaming game using this same strategy, such as Sony's Crackle and the Wal-Mart owned Vudu. But YouTube has a far more wide-reaching captive audience at their disposal, which could make this much more success for the Google-owned video service.
At the present time, YouTube is doing their best to break into the content game, with several hits such as Cobra Kai coming as a result of their YouTube Premium service, which is available for $10 a month. But their subscriber base is absolutely dwarfed by that of Netflix, which is nearing the 140 million mark worldwide, and even Hulu or Amazon. To stay relevant in the content game, they need to try something new. That's not to say YouTube has anything to worry about, as they're expected to generate $9.5 billion in revenue this year, but streaming is the future and Google is going to want to be a part of that future. YouTube is their best shot at that.
For consumers, this is really a win/win scenario. There is no need to shell out any additional money for another streaming service, which is becoming an issue with Disney+ and a new WarnerMedia service on the way next year. At the same time, YouTube will offer titles that other services may not have available at the present time. Plus, YouTube is readily accessible on TVs now through smart TVs, devices such as a Roku or gaming systems, making it very easy to watch these free movies comfortably. So don't rule YouTube out when it comes to picking what to watch next. This news was previously reported by AdAge.