Last month YouTube, quite subtly, and with a complete lack of promotional campaigning, started showing ad-supported movies, including "The Terminator," "Rocky" and "Legally Blonde," for free.
You could always buy movies for $2.99+ on YouTube, most of the latest blockbusters and prime-time TV programs, much akin to what Amazon Prime or Apple TV would offer, but never was there a free option to watch movies. Last October a “Free to watch” category movie section was added, where users have traditionally purchased or rented movies.
“We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user?” said Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube [via Adage]. "It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers.”
So far, around 100 movies are available for ad-supported viewing on YouTube. “They are now a TV network," CTO and Co-Founder @innovid Tal Chalozin said [via Adage]. “They bring the audience and the distribution. And with better programming they can increase the ad prices.”