Google has announced it will make YouTube Originals available to view for free.
YouTube’s original programming was introduced as part of YouTube RED, and later YouTube Premium, to offer an incentive to users to upgrade to an ad-free version of the video streaming giant.
Content so far has included music documentaries from the likes of Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and KPOP band BTS, alongside content from popular YouTube stars.
The announcement was made at this year’s Upfronts event, where YouTube told attendees that all future YouTube Originals content would be free-to-view, no longer behind a paywall for Premium subscribers.
Google also announced that it had secured content deals with Alicia Keys and Justin Bieber.
During the talk, representatives from YouTube revealed that televisions were the fastest growing screen for the website, adding that users spend more than 250 million hours on YouTube every day on smart TVs and set-top boxes alone.
Later in the year, Originals will be free-to-view by all, a new ‘Single Slate’ strategy that comes at the same time as “every other media company is building a paywall.”
YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl said that his company was going in the opposite direction, opening up content for everyone to view for free – albeit if they watch ads first.
YouTube says that giving away content for free offers advertisers more opportunities to connect and engage with audiences and deliver more meaningful results to their campaigns.
YouTube also revealed that it was cutting back on scripted content on the platform, and will rely on “personality-driven” content instead, inking partnerships with the likes of Justin Bieber for a top-secret project, and Alicia Keys for a new show called Unwind.
Also announced at the presentation was that YouTube TV, the company’s paid streaming service designed to act as a replacement to traditional cable networks, would join Google Preferred, meaning content will be moderated and guaranteed to be safe for advertisers.
What are your thoughts on YouTube Premium going free-to-view? Do you expect to see more streaming giants do the same, a-la Spotify’s free tier? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more technology news, every day of the week.