YouTube has announced that its Original TV and movie programs will be offered for free and support ads by 2020.
Confirming an earlier report from The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube says it is shifting its original content strategy towards offering a free ‘Single Slate’ of Originals to all users.
The company says it wants its programming to reach wider audiences, noting that nearly two billion people use YouTube each month.
However, not every Original will become free right away. As noted by Variety, certain content, like the second season of Cobra Kai (based on the Karate Kid films), will remain behind a paywall until 2020.
Since 2016, YouTube has offered its suite of Originals as part of a premium subscription service. The service was originally called YouTube Red but has since been rebranded as YouTube Premium, which launched in Canada in June.
For $11.99 CAD/month, YouTube Premium offers access to original content like Cobra Kai, sci-fi series Origin (starring Harry Potter stars Natalia Tena and Tom Felton) and The Thinning thriller flick featuring popular YouTuber Logan Paul.
While Originals will eventually become free for all users, YouTube Premium will continue to offer other exclusive perks, including ad-free video and offline viewing support.