YouTube Is Now Streaming TV Shows for the First Time — Are They Free To Watch?

Youtube is now streaming TV shows and movies on its platform.

According to the announcement of Google's online video sharing platform, YouTube users in the United States now have access to thousands of TV shows on its platform on-demand for free.

However, there is a catch.

YouTube TV Shows On-Demand Details

YouTube's new On-Demand offering has nearly 4,000 episodes of Americans' favorite TV shows, such as "Hell's Kitchen," "Heartland," "Andromeda," and more. It also has over 1,500 movies from Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, FilmRise, and other studios.

The company also mentioned that it is adding 100 new titles each week, giving users more options to choose from as time goes on. Users can check the TV shows and movies YouTube is offering to stream through the company's Free Shows page.

These TV shows and movies are available to be streamed on-demand exclusively in the United States for free; many of them can be streamed in high 1080p definition with 5.1 surround sound audio on supported devices. However, Youtube mentioned that the streaming service would be ad-supported, meaning that these TV shows and movies would have ads from time to time.

YouTube Is Now Streaming TV Shows for the First Time — Are They Free To Watch?

The company didn't specify if the ads it will place within these TV shows and movies will be skippable or not. It also didn't mention how many ads the company is inserting into them, either.

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It also revealed a brand-new streamlined menu and banner art that would help users easily find their favorite TV shows, regardless if they wish to rent, purchase or watch them for free with ads.

YouTube users can access these movies and TV shows on web browsers, mobile devices, and most connected TVs through the YouTube on TV app.

Taking a Share of the Cake

The Verge reported that YouTube's new on-demand streaming service could attract people to switch from other streaming services that provide similar features such as Tubi, Xumo, Plex, Visio, Samsung, and Roku, most especially.

Google has Roku in its crosshairs due to the blame game regarding YouTube TV being removed from Roku's platform, per a separate article from The Verge.

Additionally, Youtube's new offering could take advantage of the rising pattern that the broader streaming industry is gravitating towards TV shows instead of movies. This shift is due to new original projects that would have been made into a movie or mini-series are not being turned into TV shows, per Tech Crunch.

It is also worth noting that free TV streaming is currently driving much of the wider streaming market's growth than movie streaming.

Data analytics group Kantar also noticed that although 85% of Americans have a video subscription, quarterly growth comes mostly from free ad-supported TV and ad-supported video-on-demand services. Kantar also found that 18% of American households now use free ad-supported TV services during the last quarter of 2021. This amount is double that of 2020s findings, in which only eight percent of American households use similar services.

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