What just happened? YouTube is joining the crowded arena of ad-supported TV-series streaming. The Google-owned giant now offers almost 4,000 episodes of television shows from across the years, including Andromeda, Hell's Kitchen, Scream Queens, and Heartland, with up to 100 more titles—including movies—added each week.
Ad-supported streaming is becoming a popular option for those who won't or can't sign up to the multitude of paid-for options on the market. Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Xumo, Plex, Samsung, Vizio, and NBCU's Peacock are just some of the names offering free content for those willing to sit through ads, and now YouTube has followed suit.
YouTube has long offered a slew of ad-supported movies for people to stream freely, so moving into TV shows was a natural evolution. And while there is plenty of eye-searing crap among its film catalog, such as Steven Seagal's Sniper: Special Ops, there are few gems in there, including 80s classics Over the Top, Teen Wolf, and Robocop, along with Legally Blonde and Gone in 60 Seconds.
As for the TV shows, they're available to those in the US through the web, mobile devices, and "most connected TVs via the YouTube TV app." Again, the quality of shows on offer varies, though it's refreshing to see cult British classic The Prisoner and the great Father Ted among the selections.
While it won't be free, Disney+ will be adding an ad-supported tier to its plans later this year, offering a more affordable option alongside the standard $7.99 per month access. It's something Hulu also provides, but it seems Netflix won't be bringing ads to its service, at least not in the near term.