YouTube adds AVoD TV
March 23, 2022
By Nik Roseveare
YouTube has announced it will now stream free, ad-supported TV content, allowing US viewers to watch full seasons of TV shows – around 4,000 episodes in total – with launch titles including Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, Are We There Yet?, Heartland and many more.
Users can access these titles and up to 100 new additions each week on web browsers, mobile devices, and most connected TVs via the YouTube on TV app.
The move positions YouTube into more direct competition with the growing number of free streaming services on the market, including the likes of Tubi, Xumo, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel and IMDb TV.
YouTube already offers over 1,500 ad-supported movies from Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, FilmRise and more.
To enhance the viewing experience, YouTube has also unveiled new streamlined navigation and immersive banner art. YouTube said the new menus will help viewers more easily find content from the comfort of the couch, whether they choose to rent, purchase, or watch for free with ads. Many of these titles are also now available in HD 1080p with 5.1 surround sound audio on supported devices.
Following the announcement, Dave Castell, GM of Inventory & Partnerships EMEA at The Trade Desk, commented: “The expansion of YouTube’s free, ad-supported streaming offering in the US to include TV shows signifies a step change for the industry. YouTube has heard loud and clear the demand from consumers for a premium library of binge-worthy shows, without a hefty price tag. Across the pond in the UK, The Trade Desk’s own research has found that there’s a similarly strong appetite for free ad-supported content among Brits – with consumers reporting that they are twice as likely to try a new TV show on a free platform funded by ads, than on a service with a recurring monthly subscription fee.
“Clearly, free content is increasingly resonating with consumers worldwide and it’s the right move for streaming giants such as YouTube to tap into this opportunity. With purse strings tightening on this side of the Atlantic, it begs the question of how soon changes like this in the US will inevitably follow in Europe. We’ve already seen Discovery announce the expansion of its hybrid offering, ‘Ad-Lite’, in the UK and Ireland, as well as ITV launch ITVX, its combined AVoD/SVoD offering set to replace ITV Hub. It’s only a matter of time before other major broadcasters and streamers kick into gear.”