Today, video streaming juggernaut YouTube announced that the company will be releasing all new original series and specials for free with ads for users who don’t have a YouTube Premium subscription.
This initiative will kick off with the second season of Cobra Kai–a web series that takes place 30 years after the events in The Karate Kid–which will premiere on the 11th of September in front of the paywall for a limited time. Each week, a free episode will drop, but users who have access to YouTube Premium will be able to binge the entire season at once.
Ad-enabled free access to YouTube Premium content will also extend to any new original series and specials released after September 24th, 2019. This even includes existing shows that will have new seasons premiering at a later date like Liza Koshy’s Liza on Demand and Impulse.
It honestly sounds pretty awesome for Malaysians because YouTube Premium isn’t available locally. That means we can’t even subscribe to the service, and pay to watch the Originals, even if we wanted to. I suppose YouTube realised that monetising these free episodes with ads and allowing a much larger pool of users to access them is beneficial for their bottom line too. Kind of like a win-win, I guess. That said, the unfortunate thing is that YouTube didn’t specify how limited the “limited time access” was, so we don’t know how long until the paywall goes back up.
YouTube also expressed interest in collaborating with more communities around the world to develop region-specific content.
“We see a tremendous opportunity to develop more region-specific content, particularly in Europe, Asia and Latin America,” said YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl. He also added that they would also continue to partner with “the biggest stars and creators in the world” and enable them to share their stories and voices.
I’d love to see YouTube collaborate with local content creators on their platform here in Malaysia to launch quality series. I think that there’s a big opportunity here to tell meaningful stories that people like us can relate to. Also, YouTube, if you’re looking for a tech channel to collaborate with on a YouTube Originals series, hmu.
That being said, I’m curious to know what kind of content you’d like to see come out of Malaysia if YouTube does partner with local creators for Originals. What are some stories do you think needs to be told? Let me know in the comments below.