Most YouTube Originals Will Be Free to Watch in 2019
Yesterday, purchasing a subscription for either YouTube Premium or Music Premium got much cheaper for students. Today, we're learned that Google intends to drop the requirement of a subscription in order to view most YouTube Originals content starting next year.
The main benefits of paying $11.99 per month for YouTube Premium include the removal of advertising, offline playback, background playback and exclusive original content. I'm sure most people subscribe to remove the adverts and for the music streaming, and I think Google does too because that exclusive content isn't going to be exclusive for much longer.
As Variety reports, at some point in 2019 most YouTube Originals will be available on YouTube, with the key difference being the introduction of adverts around the content. Subscribing to Premium will still allow you to watch Originals shows without adverts, but it's not exclusive content anymore.
Google will continue to fund new Originals including movies and shows, and some shows will remain exclusives "in the near term." An example of that is season two of Cobra Kai. In order to keep YouTube Premium looking like a good investment for exclusive content, Google will continue to offer early access to new shows, but ultimately they will be unlocked for everyone to watch.
We've already seen signs of Google embracing advertising to support original content. Examples include the livestream of Will Smith's "The Jump," and "Kevin Hart: What the Fit." Variety points out the switch to ad-supported for original content also means "more mainstream celebrity-driven and creator-based reality fare."