Beginning this fall, all of YouTube’s original content will be available for free, the video hub announced during its NewFront presentation Thursday, May 2.
This includes its hit Cobra Kai, the Karate Kid continuation series recently renewed for a third season that will premiere in 2020. Its first two seasons will also stream for free—season one will be available from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11, while season two begins Sept. 11.
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YouTube’s original content was previously reserved from subscribers of Premium, its ad-free option priced at $11.99 per month. Last year, its original programming produced over 2.5 billion views across 50 shows—a number it’s hoping to increase with this new, ad-supported strategy.
“While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically- acclaimed originals with our global audience,” said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl.
The streamer also redefined its programming genres moving forward, yielding its big-budget scripted series and refocusing on music, education and personality-driven content.
This new direction begins with a partnership with its number-one followed musician, Justin Bieber. Few details were revealed for the “top-secret project” with the pop star who got his start on the platform; however, it will premiere in 2020.
The video giant also announced several other series and specials during its presentation, including an unnamed Paris Hilton documentary, the renewal of Kevin Hart: What the Fit, and a deal to live-stream all four days of Lollapalooza this summer.
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