While YouTube is still first and foremost a platform for user-created content, it has spent multiple years now attempting to break into the streaming scene, offering services like free and paid movies on demand and original programming. Their latest endeavor may help them compete with other up-and-coming streaming services like Tubi, Pluto, and others.
YouTube announced this week that you can now stream up to 4,000 episodes of various classic television shows for free, either on the regular YouTube site or through one of YouTube’s mobile or streaming player apps. These streams are ad-supported, and include archives of shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, Heartland, and more, with at least 100 new shows slated to be added every week for the foreseeable future. This service will be running alongside YouTube’s existing push for free ad-supported movies, which will also be receiving regular new additions.
YouTube Enters “Free TV” Streaming Wars, Adds Access To Nearly 4,000 Free Classic TV Episodes https://t.co/0iWj51TLL3 pic.twitter.com/0QmxuHs8Co
— Forbes Tech (@ForbesTech) March 25, 2022
Services like Tubi and Pluto maintain similar libraries of vintage television available for free, ad-supported or otherwise, but the convenience of using YouTube for this purpose alongside YouTube’s regular functionality could prove enticing for users. While YouTube has not said so outright, analysts suspect that this endeavor is particularly targeted toward Roku, with whom Google has had some tension in recent months.