At its annual Brandcast event, YouTube announced that it’s taking some of its original shows out from behind the paywall. Which means that people who don’t really want to pay for a YouTube Red subscription will now have access to the original content… if they don’t mind sitting through a few ads, that is.
It’s being slated as a ‘new strategy’ for the platform, that essentially wants to make all new originals available as free, ad-supported content. Which means not-free, exactly, but users won’t actually have to fork over money. The content on offer includes the third season of Cobra Kai, one of the most popular web series today. YouTube also announced it’ll make some of (or maybe all of) its original shows previously exclusive to its $12-a-month YouTube Premium service available to the general public for a limited time.
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Cobra Kai is the series-shaped sequel to the original Karate Kid, and the first season will be available on YouTube’s free platform from 29 August to 11 September 2019. The second season will become free to view on 11 September, and we’ll have to wait until next year for the third.
YouTube plans to make other premium originals available for free ad-funded viewing sometime in the future. This limited-time availability of its originals will likely pull in a few paying subscribers — especially considering they’re using the Karate Kid as the bait.
“While every other media company is racing to put their content behind the paywall, we’re headed in the opposite direction by making our original content available for free,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer told TechCrunch.
In addition to announcing the strategy shift, YouTube has revealed the other originals it’s working on. It has renewed Kevin Hart’s unscripted comedy series What the Fit, and it’s developing a new show hosted by Alicia Keys, as well as documentaries about Latin music star Maluma and Paris Hilton. But for us, Daniel-San is reason enough to give the service a spin.