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YouTube Just Added a Ton of Free Movies and TV Episodes
YouTube spruced up its catalog of free movies and TV shows last month, and you might be surprised by some of its offerings. According to a report by Deadline, YouTube is trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of ad-supported streaming with no subscription required. Accordingly, it added [...]

YouTube spruced up its catalog of free movies and TV shows last month, and you might be surprised by some of its offerings. According to a report by Deadline, YouTube is trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of ad-supported streaming with no subscription required. Accordingly, it added 4,000 new TV shows and 1,500 new movies.

YouTube’s new acquisitions include full episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda and Heartland, among other TV shows of all genres and channels. Meanwhile, its new movies include Legally Blond, Runaway Bride and Gone in Sixty Seconds among others. These titles are all licensed and are available for free for users with a YouTube or Google account. Since those services are so ubiquitous, YouTube has a strong headstart on services that are starting to be offered by outlets like Peacock and Tubi.

YouTube will reportedly make a catalog of ad-supported shows and movies like this available from now on, refreshing its offerings every month. For now, it plans to add about 100 more titles each time. These titles are available in 1080p high-definition with 5.1 surround sound audio. It hopes to reach new viewers with this feature and entice existing users to stay longer.

YouTube already made $8.6 billion in ad revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021 – a 25 percent year-over-year increase. Here, it is not pioneering anything new but simply following in the footsteps of existing ad-supported streaming services. For example, Fox boasted a stellar performance for Tubi in 2021, finding that ad-supported streaming was growing faster than subscription-based services were.

All of this follows the pattern of cord-cutting that has been reshaping the entertainment industry for nearly a decade now. The existence of more and more streamers is enabling users to drop bulky cable packages or satellite subscriptions and buy the subscriptions they want piece-meal. With “skinny TV bundles” like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, they don’t even need to miss out on in-season shows or live broadcasts.

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To be clear, YouTube’s new ad-supported offerings are separate from its YouTube TV subscription service. At the time of this writing, the “Free-to-Watch” movies and TV shows are simply displayed alongside the other content on YouTube. You can browse them for yourself on the service’s website, or in the app on the device of your choice.

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