YouTube abandons paid viewership for a limited time to fight against competitive streaming subscribers.
YouTube can’t seem to figure out how to compete with Netflix for digital streamers. YouTube launched YouTube Red back in 2016 for $10/month. Its a mix of Spotify and Netflix where users can watch exclusive movies and TV shows and listen to songs without ads.
They changed their service in 2018 and separated their music service for $10/month and YouTube Red to YouTube Premium for an extra $2. However, not long after the launch, YouTube decided to take down its paywall for its original programming.
YouTube now at the advantaged
While their previous plans didn’t see much success, this decision will put YouTube to an advantage as compared to Netflix, Apple, Amazon Prime, and Disney because users will now be able to watch content on the streaming platform for free.
One of the shows that are now available for all users is the cult classic Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai. The show’s first season is now fully available and the episodes for season two will drop weekly. Cobra Kai is spearheaded by Susanne Daniels, a TV veteran and was hired by YouTube in 2015 to help in their strategy. Daniels was a part of the popular show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she’s also the one who ordered big-budgeted scripts for YouTube’s original series.
All the other YouTube original shows will also be available for the users who aren’t subscribed to the Premium services. The existing YouTube library, however, continues to have a paywall due to the contracts that the platform has with the shows’ producers.
Stiff competition in the streaming industry
The competition is no joke as content providers are in a race or increasing their programming budgets to acquire market share. YouTube’s removal of their paywall isn’t official yet and there’s no news if they are dropping it completely.
However, this temporary removal of YouTube’s paywall aims to increase the number of users who watch YouTube’s programming.
“This next phase of our original strategy will expand the audience of our YouTube Original creators and provide advertisers with incredible content that reaches the YouTube generation,” says YouTube spokesperson.
Users can watch the content for free until September 24.