YouTube is getting into the ad-supported long-form game by adding 4,000 library TV episodes and 1,500 movies as viewership in the living room continue to grow.
With the move, Google will gain more visibility in the growing Advertising-based Video on Demand marketplace (AVOD). NBCUniversal, Paramount, Disney and Warner Bros Entertainment have all acquired or developed AVOD services, competing with Roku, Crackle, and others.
YouTube and its parent company Alphabet have long relied on advertising revenue to sustain themselves, and lately, they have been very successful. In the fourth quarter, YouTube reported a 25% year-over-year increase in ad revenue, to $8.6 billion.
Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda and Heartland will be available as part of the new offering. Films from Disney, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Paramount include Legally Blonde, Runaway Bride and Gone in Sixty Seconds.
While the film and TV titles are not exclusive, they can be viewed for free, and many are available in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound. YouTube’s overall reach means that the new offerings will serve as another way to attract viewers to the site. The catalogue will be refreshed monthly with 100 new titles.
According to Nielsen, YouTube reached more than 135 million people in the U.S. in December.
Youtube’s new film and TV offerings are different from what can be found on YouTube TV, which offers a complete package comparable to cable and satellite, but via the internet. That service, launched in 2017, has more than 3 million subscribers.