Forget Netflix; forget Hulu or any other streaming service that may be your current go-to for movies; YouTube could be the future of your streaming needs.
In a surprising move, the Alphabet-owned business has started sharing a catalog of free-to-watch movies which are supported by the inclusion of user-facing ads.
In a free sense, most internet users are used to heading over to YouTube to watch videos that have been uploaded by other account holders or content creators creating their own videos in their own niche hosted on their own channel. YouTube offers a paid music and streaming service that unlocks commercial content for others via a paywall but for the most part, the traffic through YouTube has always been from non-paying users accessing ad-supported content. It now seems that Google started offering a “Free to watch” section in its movie category starting in October, as identified by AdAge.
Currently, that category only contains approximately 100 films that users can choose and consume via whatever platform they choose but, according to YouTube’s director of product management Rohit Dhawan, the library is expected to grow and expand into something that would hopefully be quite extensive and offer a wide variety of chose for all viewers and users of YouTube.
For those who are fans of some aging CGI, the original Terminator movie is up and available to free entirely free-of-charge, as are other well-known movies like the original Rocky and Legally Blonde.
It’s hardly surprising that YouTube is looking down this channel as a way of gaining new and regular viewers as well as enticing advertisers into a new viewing stream. More and more households are starting to invest in Smart TVs and set-top boxes that have the YouTube built-in.
Companies like Virgin Media and BSkyB also ship cable boxes with a YouTube app pre-loaded on their TiVO and SKY Q boxes, meaning that the companies receiving more and more traffic from people sitting in their living rooms looking for content to watch. Competitors like Roku are also already offering this type of ad-supported free-to-watch content and have recently expanded to the web outside of its own Roku TV or Roku Box ecosystem.
Check out the category for yourself and see if there is currently anything that floats your boat. But be prepared to be interrupted by regular ads and sponsors.
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