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YouTube has decided it no longer wants to be a TV station

Original content is hard, yo.

youtube logo on grey background
Image: YouTube

YouTube’s dreams of making it on YouTube haven’t gone so well, with the platform canceling future plans for high-end dramas and comedies. That spells the end of YouTube trying to compete against Netflix and Amazon, with the service focusing on what it does best – getting other people to create its content.

News of those cancellations was given to Bloomberg recently, who also reports that the Alphabet-owned business has “stopped accepting pitches for expensive scripted shows.” It seems that even with all of Google’s adbucks, the cost to compete against the established players in the original content market is too high.

Even with the $15 billion in ad sales that YouTube generated for its parent company last year, the cost of entry is too high. That should serve as a warning to Disney+, DC Universe, AT&T and anyone else wanting to go into streaming their original content.

Of course, there’s one difference with all of those services – they already create their own content

Setting up a service to stream them might create a higher profit margin, at the risk of entering an ever-more-crowded marketplace. With cord cutters ditching cable due to the high fees, we’re moving towards a second cord-cutting revolution – one where consumers cut the number of streaming services they subscribe to. Maybe that’s why Apple’s move into the market will be a storefront for other companies subscriptions. All of the profit, none of the risk.

With the death of YouTube’s push into original content, that brings Google’s tally of “things we killed” to 150. Maybe those “Millennials killed…” articles should start with another headline. Well, almost. YouTube is still producing some shows, like the Cobra Kai spin-off from the Karate Kid movie franchise. The few shows that it will produce will be on a timed exclusivity deal with YouTube Premium subscribers, transitioning to a “Single Slate” model for 2020 where the YouTube-produced content will be ad-supported, just like over-the-air TV.

What do you think? Surprised by the news? Yeah, us either. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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