As traditional cable services see declining revenue due to online streaming services a new question has emerged – which streaming service will come out on top? Familiar faces, such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, remain tough competition for newcomers like HBO and CBS All Access, and most recently, YouTube. YouTube is best known as a platform for users to share amusing videos, media reviews and educational materials, however, it recently announced that it will be providing free access to full length films on the site, with ad breaks, to consumers.

File:YouTube Logo 2017.svg

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Many attribute YouTube’s decision to offer feature films for free as a way for the platform to compete with other streaming services while still bringing in revenue through ads. The free to watch movie selection includes cult classics and past blockbuster hits including many Rocky films, The Terminator, and Legally Blonde. Expansion plans are in the works, according to the to Rohit Dhawan, the director of product management at YouTube.

“Eventually, there could be a way for advertisers to pay to sponsor individual movies, giving user complimentary views and exclusive screenings,” Dhawan told Ad Age. “However that all pretty much depends on how studios evolve their businesses to account for these new digital streaming windows that are opening up.”

More feature films are expected to be added to the free to stream service soon, but the current list of free movies is available here.

Since 2005, YouTube has brought videos to viewers around the world, with more than 5 billion videos being watched on a daily basis. Over the years YouTube has experimented with several paid membership options, including Music Key, YouTube Red and most recently YouTube Premium. Music Key was a short lived program that offered members ad-free music videos. In 2015, YouTube revised the Music Key platform to make all videos ad free for paid members under a new program called YouTube Red.

File:YouTube Premium logo.svg

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Just this year YouTube rebranded the program once again to YouTube Premium. On June 18, YouTube Premium launched alongside a re-launch of Music Key, now known as YouTube Music. Little changed in terms of product offerings with this launch, other than the price — increasing $2, though previous subscribers were grandfathered in at the old cost — and expanding the services to other countries.

 

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