YouTube has launched a new slate of TV shows in the app that enable users to watch their favorite TV shows and movies for free, with ads, as it makes another advance into commercial TV territory.
“…now US viewers for the first time will be able to watch full seasons of TV shows on YouTube for free with ads. Now you can stream nearly 4,000 episodes of your favorite TV shows, including Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, Heartland and more,” YouTube explained, adding that over 1,500 movies from Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and more are also available in the app.
Connected TV viewing is now YouTube’s fastest growing usage category, and has become the default viewing option. Nielsen has confirmed that over 135 million people watched YouTube content on their TV screens in December 2021.
This has also changed video-watching behavior, as viewers can skip ahead if they want, which in turn has impacted presentation and production approaches in line with shorter attention spans.
This will also significantly allow brands to reach viewers with TV-like campaigns at a more affordable price, and with more targeting options.
Data from eMarketer published last June shows that traditional TV viewing remains a key source of media time spent. In contrast, a Consumer Technology Association study earlier this year reports that US consumers now spend almost as much time streaming videos on social platforms, while TV viewing is on a clear and steady decline. Mobile consumption, however, is clearly on the rise.