Why YouTube adds free series and movies to its catalog?

The video-sharing platform wants to play it like Netflix, adding series and movies to its offer.

Would YouTube have the ambition to become the new Netflix? The platform has just announced a rather surprising novelty, adding several hundred films and television shows to its catalog. In total, these are almost 4000 episodes of series and films which are now accessible at no additional cost. For the moment reserved for the United States, this enrichment of the catalog could cross the Atlantic, and quickly arrive in France.

Compete with Netflix with free

Streaming services are on the rise — especially in the United States, which already relies on Hulu, HBO Max ou encore Paramount+ in addition to the traditional Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+. The arrival of YouTube on the market, which is moreover with a free service, could mark the arrival of Google on the SVOD market. The web giant had so far been content to sell a few films individually from its Play Store, it could now move up a gear.

If it’s free, you’re the product

Obviously, YouTube’s approach is not philanthropic, far from it. By adding free content to its offer, the platform is betting on the fact that to enjoy a film, more Internet users will opt for a premium subscription, which allows them to do without advertising. Because unsurprisingly, it will be necessary to bet on a lot of publicity for the free members. In all cases, Google therefore ensures an income, either from advertising or directly via its subscriptions.

A winning decision, therefore, and which is not new. A few days ago, Disney+ also announced that it was considering a cheaper subscription partially funded by advertising. The idea being to allow those who do not want to pay the price, to benefit from an identical catalog, for a few counterparties. As a reminder, this is not the first time that YouTube has taken inspiration from the competition. For several months now, the platform has been trying to shade TikTok and Instagram with its shorts, short videos shot in portrait format.

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