In a new blow to Australian free to air TV stations YouTube has secretly launched a free movie service but there is a snag, you still have to watch ads.
What’s been revealed is that the Google owned business secretly in October, added around 100, feature-length films to its website that don’t require a subscription watch.
The ‘Free to watch’ category includes mostly older films, but there are some cult classic and critically acclaimed titles like ‘Rocky,’ ‘Legally Blonde,’ ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’
Ads will then pop up at regular intervals throughout the movie.
To check out what’s available, head to YouTube’s homepage, then navigate to the ‘Movies & Shows’ section in the left-hand toolbar.
All you do is go to the website and scroll down to the section titled ‘Free to watch,’ click on whatever movie you want to watch, and it will begin playing automatically like any other YouTube video.
The firm moved to offer free titles after it heard users would be interested having the option.
‘We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies,’ Rohit Dhawan, YouTube’s director of product management, told Ad Age.
‘…It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers.’
It’s unclear how the video website shares revenue with advertisers or how it secured deals with movie studios.
YouTube expects to add more titles to the ‘Free to watch’ section over time.
Should they pursue those kinds of deals, YouTube would have the user base to support it.
The Google-owned streaming platform counts roughly 1.9 billion monthly active users, according to Ad Age.