Variety – “YouTube has concluded that its investments in original programming should have a home on the free, ad-supported side — not just tucked behind a paywall. In a shift in strategy, the Google-owned video platform said that starting next year it will move to make all of its new original programming available for free for anyone to watch. With the change, YouTube is moving toward more mainstream celebrity-driven and creator-based reality fare, while it will continue to greenlight scripted productions. Until now, YouTube Originals have mainly been available on its YouTube Premium subscription service, although YouTube also has expanded the shows and movies it makes available on an ad-supported basis.
“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 said 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.”