YouTube has thrown in the towel in its efforts to convince people to pay for its original programming after confirming that it would make such content free to view – just eight months on from the launch of YouTube Premium.
The $12 per month service offered an exclusive ad-free music and video experience for people willing to stump up cash for more seamless browsing but this vision evidently failed to gain traction, with the death knell formally announced last night.
In a statement YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl noted: “For today’s viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities. While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically acclaimed originals with our global audience.”
While YouTube’s move marks a retreat of sorts, it reinforces the brand's supremacy in ad-supported streaming video, a status likely to be further enhanced with the addition of popular premium content such as Karate Kid successor Cobra Kai.
YouTube has had success in recent years at producing original content as it stakes a claim to professionally produced material, not just cat videos.