Ahead of the launch of Apple TV+ streaming service, YouTube — the world’s largest video streaming platform — has announced a major change in its original programming strategy. The company will now offer its original content for streaming on the ad-support version of YouTube.
Up until now, YouTube has kept its original content limited to paid subscribers of YouTube Premium. There will be some limitations here so that YouTube Premium subscribers don’t feel ripped off. For example, the third season of Cobra Kai will be made available to YouTube Premium subscribers in one go, while non-paying subscribers will get access to one episode every week. Additionally, due to contractual obligations, YouTube will not be making episodes of existing shows live on the ad-supported platform.
Going forward, YouTube will focus on three types of content genre/series: music, learning, and personalities. And while the company will focus on unscripted shows, it will continue to release scripted ones as well.
“For today’s viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities,” Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl said in the official announcement. “While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically- acclaimed originals with our global audience.”
YouTube’s original content has not really taken off among audiences. With this move, the company’s original content will reach a wider range of audience which is always a good thing as apart from eyeballs, the ads will help YouTube in making sure that producing original content remains a feasible option for it.