Between Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video, YouTube isn't a video streaming service many people talk about. With the exception of browsing free videos uploaded by YouTubers, it isn't a platform people venture to when they want to watch TV shows or movies. This is largely because they are already paying for their Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon subscriptions and don't want to be tempted into buying another subscription.
First noticed by AdAge, YouTube quietly added a section to their website called "Free to Watch." This section allows anyone browsing the YouTube website or app to watch several movies without an obligation to a subscription service. Arguably the best part of this recently discovered gem is there is only one small catch – advertisements. As long as you don't mind a few commercials with your movies, YouTube has added tons of great movies you can view for free.
Some of the more notable titles on the list include the first five Rocky movies, The Terminator, and Legally Blonde. This, however, doesn't even begin to scratch the surface on the options for you to view. Other movies currently available in the "Free to Watch" section include:
- Agent Cody Banks
- Agent Cody Banks 2
- What's The Worst That Could Happen?
- All Dogs Go To Heaven
- The Magic of Belle Isle
- Uptown Girls
- Pink Panther 2
- A Guy Thing
- Out of Time
- Return to Me
- Throw Momma From The Train
- The Hero of Color City
"We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user?" Rohit Dhawan, YouTube's director of product management revealed to AdAge.
She added: "It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers."While there is no denying advertisement free subscription services such as Amazon Video and Netflix dominate the market, AdAge believes there is a growing market for individuals who do not have an issue with seeing an advertisement or commercial during the content they are viewing instead of paying a subscription fee. This market includes services such as Walmart's Vudu. A few months ago, Roku announced plans for a free ad-supported Roku Channel that would be available for people to use on the website. The Roku Channel promised the opportunity to watch free ad-supported content from your computer instead of being limited to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
According to Dhawan, YouTube does plan on expanding the "Free to Watch" section by adding additional films in the future. Currently, there are not any TV shows in the "Free to Watch" section, but this is always a possibility in the future.