YouTube Introduced a New Slate of Free TV Series in It's App
As part of its push into commercial television, YouTube introduced a new slate of TV series in its app this week that customers will be able to watch for free, with commercials. 4,000 episodes is a lot, but YouTube also claims that the app has over 1,500 movies from Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and other studios.
YouTube has long provided on-demand access to TV episodes and movies, but now viewers will be able to access a vast array of content for free, at any time, as long as they can tolerate a few adverts in suitable intervals.
According to YouTube:
“YouTube is at the forefront of the consumer shift to CTV viewership as the top ad-supported streaming platform with the content people enjoy and the creators they love. And now US viewers for the first time will be able to watch full seasons of TV shows on YouTube for free with ads. Now you can stream nearly 4,000 episodes of your favorite TV shows, including Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, Heartland, and more.”
Even though there will most certainly be fewer advertisements than on traditional television - and with so many possibilities, you can assume that this will be a highly popular service.
According to YouTube, millions of users are already watching YouTube videos on their televisions, with Nielsen verifying that over 135 million individuals watched YouTube material on their televisions in December 2021.
Connected TV viewing is now YouTube's fastest-growing usage category, and for many younger users who've always had YouTube, it's now the default viewing option, with traditional TV channels and stars hardly registering in their sphere of consciousness. This has also changed how people watch videos. Viewers are accustomed to being able to click forward and skip to something else these days, which has influenced presenting styles and production approaches as attention spans have shortened.
As each of these tendencies takes root, YouTube's position as the most popular viewing platform is cemented even more. The ability to watch TV series whenever you want corresponds with this transition, and will undoubtedly prove to be a popular alternative. It will also considerably expand YouTube's ad inventory, giving brands new ways to reach users in the app with TV-style campaigns at a far lower cost and with a lot more targeting choices.
Is this the end of traditional television?
TV viewing is still pretty robust right now, according to eMarketer statistics from last June, which shows that traditional TV viewing remains an important source of media time spent in relative terms. Another survey released earlier this year by the Consumer Technology Association indicated that US consumers now spend almost as much time streaming videos on social platforms as they do watching traditional TV.
As previously stated, regular TV channels are an afterthought for younger consumers who have never known a time when the internet didn't provide on-demand content streamed in real-time and high-quality, and the clock appears to be ticking for TV stations as we know them, as newer video platforms take over and new offerings like this shift viewing paradigms.
This update may not be the ultimate straw, but it is another step in the direction of the old-school networks' demise.
While many are adapting, many more will follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs or DVDs, eventually dying out as older audiences no longer dictate the most relevant media sources. As a result, this is a substantial and essential development worth highlighting in the context of the greater digital transformation.