YouTube is planning to put its original content ahead of its paywall in what marks a significant strategy shift.
The business has confirmed that, beginning in 2019, new originals on the platform will be available via an AVOD model that makes the content effectively free for its global audience. To date, the platform has been charging around US$12/month for a Premium subscription.
YouTube has said the shift is intended to meet the “growing demand of a more global fanbase”.
Under the new arrangement, YouTube Premium will continue to exist, but its defining characteristic will be the fact that it is ad-free, rather than its original content offerings.
The business first launched its SVOD component in 2015 with the originals-led YouTube Red, but rebranded the offering as YouTube Premium in May 2018, expanding it into 29 countries with 50 scripted and unscripted originals.
By 2020, all premium content will join ad-supported content in front of the paywall.
YouTube has confirmed that it will still invest in scripted programming, but this content will be effectively free to all users of the platform going forward.
“This next phase of our Originals strategy will expand the audience of our YouTube Original creators and provide advertisers with incredible content that reaches the YouTube Generation,” said a spokesperson.