The next phase of the streaming wars is upon us.
Behemoths like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Plus (with Hulu in Disney’s back pocket) will battle it out for eyeball supremacy. The newcomers (WarnerMedia’s HBO service, CBS All Access) will try to claim their right. The services of the shop (Criterion Collection, Crunchyroll) will be attached for the trip. The Facebook disruption will upset us again about Facebook.
Somewhere in all of this, YouTube – with fierce competition from Twitch – is looking to meet the needs of Hollywood and its creators, who are battling demonetization. Where does the old video platform end up in all of this?
We’ll have to wait a few years for the answer, but in the meantime YouTube is throwing all the darts on the board for attention, including licensed a ton of movies to stream for free with commercial breaks.
Like other ad-supported VOD services such as Tubi TV and Sony’s Crackle, YouTube is hoping to bolster its iTunes-style movie and TV store with free playback options. This all adds up to YouTube Red, the company’s premium content arm, which hosts shows like Cobra Kai.
Current selection of movies on YouTube understand The Terminator, The revenge of a blonde, Rocky (plus suites of varying quality), Monsters and a slew of martial arts films, American indies and documentaries. Rohit Dhawan, Director of Product Management at YouTube, said Adage that the company is already considering expanding the selection.
YouTube isn’t the only company looking to dominate the ad-supported VOD space, according to the AdAge report. In addition to Tubi and Crackle, Vudu – the Walmart-owned movies app – is also growing, while Amazon hopes to launch its own selection of streaming titles.
The Real Winner: Whichever company finds a way to add 12 more hours to the day so we can make it all up.