You’ve read that correctly. YouTube will now let users watch movies on their platform for free, supported by ads. YouTube added a section called “free to watch” on its site.
The feature was added back in October, but rumors about it started surfacing just last week. YouTube did not mention how frequently the ads would be shown to users. The ads are displayed at “regular intervals.”
Most of these titles are pretty famous and may have been watched already by most of the people. Despite this its still a pretty nifty option to have. Some of the titles include: “The Terminator,” “Rocky,” “Legally Blonde,” “Hackers,” “Saved” and “Igor.”
More content will be added constantly, so this should be an extremely useful feature to get one’s hands on. Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube told AdAge,
“We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user? ”
He further added, “It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers.” Dhawan hasn’t disclosed how the ad revenue will be split with movie studios or how long the deals will last and what for which movies. YouTube serves ads to its 1.9 million monthly users through the advertisement program.
Advertisers who want to opt-in to show ads on YouTube are vetted by the company and given a go ahead. Unfortunately, many businesses are shying away from the service due to the PewdiePie and ISIS controversy a few years back.
The company is still recovering from it, so it will be interesting to see what kind of ads would be shown during a movie. If the feature is a hit, film studios would want to have exclusive premieres on YouTube. This will be a real gamechanger for the site and a fresh start.
This isn’t a new idea, however. Many other streaming services have a similar strategy. Walmart has a free section of free movies on Vudu. Roku has a free movie section called The Roku Channel. It is supported by ads as well.
YouTube offers premium options as well. The aptly named YouTube Premium is just one example.
This service allows users to watch videos without ads. YouTube also allows premium subscriptions to individual channels. Users can subscribe to their favorite YouTube channels for five dollars a month.
They can watch these videos without ads and have access to bonus content such as behind the scenes footage. Users will also be given a badge next to their name. This gives users a pretty solid reason to support their channels of choice.
This is a change of pace for the company, but will hopefully be a good investment to combat “the adpocalypse.” The company still can’t seem to get out of it, but with such clever tactics and good planning, YouTube seems to be on the right path.
This might be the best feature YouTube has come up with years. It has got us excited beyond our wits, and we cannot wait to try it once it goes live in other countries as well.