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YouTube plans to make its Originals free and ad-supported by 2020

Tyrone Stewart

YouTube PremiumYouTube is reportedly shifting its original programming strategy with plans to make its scripted content available to all users, not just those paying for its premium subscription service.

The Google-owned video sharing platform will scale back on its scripted output and, with that in mind, will shift focus toward its ad-supported business and make all future original programming free to its 2bn users, reports The Hollywood Reporter, citing sources. By 2020, all YouTube’s original shows and movies will be available for free. Until then, some original productions, like Cobra Kai season two, will remain behind a paywall.

The YouTube Originals team is said to have begun speaking with creative partners about the shift in strategy, but there no indication that there are any plans to completely scrap scripted content, at least for the time being.

“As we look to 2019, we will continue to invest in scripted programming and shift to make our YouTube Originals ad supported to meet the growing demand of a more global fanbase,” a YouTube rep told Variety in a statement. “This next phase of our originals strategy will expand the audience of our YouTube Original creators, and provide advertisers with incredible content that reaches the YouTube generation.”