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YouTube now lets you watch free ad-supported TV shows

Free to you, that is. Somebody is paying for them via advertising.

Youtube tv logo
Image: KnowTechie

YouTube just announced it’s getting into ad-supported, free TV for the first time. The new service has over 4,000 TV episodes, some with full seasons; and over 1,500 movies from the biggest names in entertainment.

Users who head to YouTube for free movies or free shows will see a “new, streamlined navigation and immersive banner art.”

You’ll see familiar faces in the mix; from Gordan Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares to Andromeda, Relic Hunter, and classics like Midsomer Murders.

Ad-supported movies have been on YouTube since 2018; with titles like Gone in 60 Seconds, Legally Blonde, and Runaway Bride all appearing this month.

Screenshot of youtube tv's free shows page
Image: YouTube

YouTube says they’re going to increase the number of titles weekly, by at least 100 a week. The move puts YouTube in direct competition with Hulu, Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Xumo, Plex, and NBCU’s Peacock for the first time.

READ MORE: How to watch YouTube ad-free on Android now that Vanced is gone

That’s bad news for the crowded streaming market. The number of ad-supported TV streaming services is ever-growing, while the number of eyes to watch them stays fairly static.

A new report from Kantar says 85-percent of US households have a video subscription. That report also shows that growth is coming from ad-supported services, and not the more expensive, ad-free tiers.

READ MORE: YouTube Kids exposed for suggesting drug and gun videos

YouTube already gets 135 million viewers on connected TVs, according to Nielsen data. That’s before ad-supported TV shows were added. With YouTube’s reach and self-promotional efforts, expect the service to grow as it adds more content.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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