YouTube now lets you watch free ad-supported TV shows
Free to you, that is. Somebody is paying for them via advertising.
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.
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.
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.
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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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