YouTube partners with Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry for free original content

YouTubeYouTube has announced its plans to introduce a whole host of free-to-view original shows with some impressive celebrity names including the likes of Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres and Katy Perry.

The seven original shows will be ad-supported, hence the free nature of them. The first advertising partner for the new content comes in the form of Johnson & Johnson – which has made an investment in YouTube’s creators through Google Preferred and will be the exclusive sponsor for Ryan Seascrest’s Best.Cover.Ever, which will be hosted by hip hop artist and star of The Fast and the Furious film series Ludacris.

“We’re excited to partner with top creators and world-class production companies to offer these new shows to audiences globally—on the platform where the world chooses to watch over a billion hours of video every day,” said Robert Kyncl, CBO at YouTube, in a blog post. “People turn to YouTube to express themselves, engage with creators, and connect with the thriving communities they’re proud to be a part of.”

Other stars preparing to launch shows on YouTube include Rhett & Link, Demi Lovato, and The Slow Mo Guys.

The new shows continue YouTube plans to become a legitimate force in the world of TV, in both on-demand and live streaming. In 2015, YouTube launched its Red ad-free subscription service – to which it has added 30 original series and movies in the past year. Last month, the Google-owned video platform launched a live TV streaming service – partnering with channels such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN so people can watch live TV on-the-go.