As part of plans to expand its existing free streaming efforts, YouTube has announced the launch of stream-free, ad-supported TV shows, the first of its kind.
With the growing number of existing free streaming services in the market, this new move will position YouTube in a more direct competition with services like Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Xumo, Plex, and NBCU’s Peacock, Investors King gathered.
According to YouTube, U.S. users will be the first to access over 4,000 free TV episodes from shows including “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Andromeda,” “Heartland” and others. It also revealed plans to add up to 100 more titles each week, including both shows and movies, to its free streaming collection.
“More people are choosing to experience YouTube on the big screen with friends and family. In fact, according to Nielsen, YouTube reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the U.S. in December 2021.
“YouTube is at the forefront of the consumer shift to CTV viewership as the top ad-supported streaming platform with the content people enjoy and the creators they love. And now US viewers for the first time will be able to watch full seasons of TV shows on YouTube for free with ads”, the company wrote on its website.
Already, YouTube also has over 1,500 movies from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, FilmRise, and more. New titles in March include Gone in Sixty Seconds, Runaway Bride and Legally Blonde, which are now available to stream for free with ads.
“To enhance the viewing experience, we’re unveiling brand new streamlined navigation and immersive banner art. The rich visuals and new menus will help you more easily find your favorite TV shows from the comfort of the couch, whether you choose to rent, purchase, or watch for free with ads. Many of these titles are also now available in high definition 1080p with 5.1 surround sound audio on supported devices”, YouTube added.
YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google. It was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is the second most visited website, right after Google itself.
The social platform has more than one billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day and as of May 2019, videos were being uploaded at a rate of more than 500 hours of content per minute.