Something to look forward to: Good news for those who have had their eye on YouTube original shows such as Cobra Kai but are unable or unwilling to pay for them. The company has confirmed that all of its programming will have a free, ad-supported window going forward.
Back in November, YouTube announced its “Single Slate” plan, which sees ad-supported and subscription programming combined into a single initiative. Speaking at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event, Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl reaffirmed these plans, explaining that going forward, all new originals will have free windows.
YouTube had said that some originals such as season two of Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai would remain behind the paywall, but that’s no longer the case. Season one will be available for free from August 29 to September 11, at which point the second season will be available. A third season is set to launch next year, and non-subscribers will be able to access one new episode per week, much like a traditional TV show.
YouTube said it'll announce when its other original content will be available to watch for free at a later date. It added that a handful of existing programs are likely to remain subscriber-only because of prior commitments.
“For today’s viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities,” said Kyncl. “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.”
Some of the originals YouTube is working on includes a new season of Kevin Hart's What the Fit, documentaries on model Paris Hilton and Latin music star Maluma, and a secret project with singer Justin Bieber.