YouTube Is Now Streaming Free, Ad-Supported Feature Films
YouTube recently began to roll out a series of feature films that viewers can watch for free, supported by ads.
According to AdAge, the video platform began releasing the movies in October with a “Free to watch” category in its movie section, where users have traditionally purchased or rented movies.
Rohit Dhawan, YouTube’s director of product management, told AdAge that the company saw an opportunity for consumers and advertisers, and notes that there might be a way for advertisers to “sponsor” films or hold exclusive screenings.
The feature comes not long after Roku announced that its free, ad-supported movie selection, The Roku Channel, would be available on the web (it was previously only available to those with a Roku TV or box), which also includes a number of older films, like The Matrix and 50 First Dates.
YouTube’s foray into this field makes sense – AdAge notes that more people are accessing the site on smart TVs, and distributing ad-supported free films could be a huge new audience for the site’s extensive ad network.