You can now add YouTube to your list of sites to scour for free movie streaming, as the video-sharing giant has now added no-cost, ad-supported films to YouTube Movies.
[Editor's note: This feature is not currently available in Australia, but stay posted for an update once it is.]
A spokesperson for Google, YouTube’s parent company, told Gizmodo that it introduced the “free to watch” section to its site in October, though reports of the feature just started surfacing this week.
The company declined to say how regularly you’ll see ads while you’re watching, but the Verge noted that pop-ups from YouTube’s commercial advertisers “appear at regular intervals.”
The Google spokesperson told Gizmodo the movies come courtesy its partnerships with major Hollywood studios, and honestly, the roster of free stuff to watch looks pretty great! Some of the more notable titles include Igor, many of the Rocky films, The Terminator, Saved, and Hackers. Don’t expect to see anything super new, but the selection (so far) features a mix of blockbuster hits and cult favourites.
Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube, told Ad Age that free, ad-supported movies presented a good opportunity for both users and advertisers, which makes sense given they’d want their ads on quality video. Per Ad Age:
Eventually, there could be a way for advertisers to pay to sponsor individual movies, giving users complimentary views and exclusive screenings, Dhawan says. However, that all pretty much depends on how studios evolve their businesses to account for these new digital streaming windows that are opening up.
It may not yet rival ad-supported streaming competitors like Hulu yet, but according to Dhawan, the company does plan to expand its selection of free feature films. (That’s good to hear because its horror selection — or lack thereof — could use some work.)
You can check out the full list of its current free movies right here.