Currently, users will have to subscribe to YouTube Premium (Not Music Premium which only offers access to YouTube Music) in order to gain access to its slate of original programming, now YouTube is working on making these shows accessible for free with ads.
It's been less than eight months since YouTube launched its $12-a-month "Premium" subscription service - and there's already reason to wonder whether its days are numbered.
According to the report, the YouTube originals budget is thought to be hundreds of millions of dollars annually, but that's still dwarfed by the supposedly several billion dollars Netflix and Amazon have been spending each year.
Today YouTube announced that they are launching a cheaper version of their YouTube Premium and YouTube Music plans. Instead, YouTube's Originals will be available on the site for free, with ads, to everyone.
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YouTube Music for students costs $5 a month (regularly $10) and YouTube Premium is $7 a month (regularly $12). YouTube has never revealed the size of its subscription business (which also includes YouTube TV, yet another monthly subscription service that streams live TV), but its original content never got the same public acclaim or popularity as others'.
The decision is part of a new strategy, YouTube said, where YouTube Originals can be accessed by all audiences - those who are willing to pay for an ad-free experience and those who are not.
YouTube's shift in strategy comes as Apple plans to launch its own original-content streaming service as early as March 2019. While Netflix has Stranger Things and Amazon has The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, YouTube Premium hasn't produced a hit bigger than the Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai, which had a generally well-received first season.
Google is in the midst of transforming its music and video subscription services under the YouTube name, and that includes some small pricing changes.