YouTube Adds 4,000 Free TV Episodes to Compete With Bigger Streaming Services

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YouTube Adds 4,000 Free TV Episodes to Compete With Bigger Streaming Services

By Movieguide® Contributor

YouTube is adding thousands of episodes of TV shows to their platform in an effort to compete with bigger streaming services. 

Users can now watch almost 4,000 episodes of popular TV shows, free with ads, Gizmodo reports. These shows include titles like HELL’S KITCHEN, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, and ANDROMEDA. 

These episodes join the nearly 1,500 movies that are already on YouTube, available to watch free with ads. The movies come from studios like Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and FilmRise. 

This isn’t the first move YouTube has made in an effort to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. The platform tried producing original content, like COBRA KAI, through YouTube Originals, but couldn’t keep up with their competitors. 

Adding these new shows and movies is just the first step for YouTube. They plan to introduce new site navigation and banner art to help users find free, rented, and purchased content. YouTube also plans to add up to 100 shows and movies each week. 

Movieguide® has previously reported on YouTube’s efforts to create original content geared toward children:

YouTube already has 35 million weekly users on their YouTube Kids app, a number they hope to increase as parents and teachers search for educational and child-friendly entertainment on their ad-supported site.

One goal for the new content, according to YouTube executives, is to include a diverse cast of characters who reflect the company’s global appeal.

“When I was coming of age and growing up back in the ’70s and ’80s and watching TV, I personally didn’t see a lot of characters and people that look like me in the world that I lived in,” Malik Ducard, vice president of content partnerships, said. “The importance of diversity and really showing the beautiful range of characters and story and narrative and creators who are telling these really dynamic stories, we think is incredibly important.”

“Every show at some level fits this big idea of helping kids uncover and develop their unique strengths and passions,” Nadine Zylstra, head of family, learning and impact at YouTube Originals, said.

The new programs will appear on YouTube Originals, a branch of the company that oversees Youtube’s productions. Although Youtube had a paywall

According to LA Times, YouTube Originals became free with ads in October 2019, moving away from their previous paywall model.

YouTube has flourished amid the ongoing pandemic. Its focus on more family-friendly content is a welcome sight for parents whose children spend more and more time in front of a screen.

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