Ad-interrupted TV viewing is back, but not in any way you might have imagined it a few years ago. YouTube has crashed into the over-the-air TV arena by announcing that more than 4000 shows can be viewed for free on its platform. This catalog is available to those who live in the US and don’t mind their viewing experience being interrupted by ads.
A bunch of competitors offering ad-supported OTA streaming of TV shows already exist on the playing field, from Roku to Plex to Tubi. Yet the numbers appear to support YouTube considering that the platform reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the US in December 2021 alone, as per Nielsen estimates.
When you add Android device users to the blend, TV shows on YouTube have the potential to reach billions of viewers all over the world. The Google-owned platform really doesn’t have much to fear due to this. There are millions of people browsing YouTube on a daily basis – adding TV shows to the mix is very likely to keep them on the site for longer periods of time.
Currently, YouTube has over 1500 movies from the likes of Disney, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures in its catalog. Some of the TV shows you can watch on the platform include full seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, Hidden Palms and Heartland. The company plans to add up to 100 new titles to its stockpile on a weekly basis.
Ad-supported TV shows on YouTube are viewable for free in the US via the web, mobile devices, and the majority of connected TVs with the YouTube TV app.