Sometimes YouTube likes to do things quietly. Google video service has quietly started adding free, ad-supported movies to its “Movies & Shows” section in October. The roughly 100-title collection is largely comprised of old or unspectacular movies that are way past their prime. Movies like Legally Blonde, Agent Cody Banks and the original Terminator. It’s actually the perfect recipe for studios to make some ad revenue from people wanting to watch a classic movie.
Company product management director Rohit Dhawan hinted that there could one day be a way for advertisers to sponsor individual movies as well. You could watch the first movie in a franchise when its sequel hits theaters, for instance. That makes sense. We will have to see if that happens or not. Studios are used to paid services, but ad-supported movies are a new thing.
As AdAge points out, this could be in part about creating a more tempting target for advertisers. YouTube knows some companies are reluctant to run ads with some of its user-uploaded video, especially after incidents where ads were linked to hate speech clips. This would give companies a ‘safer’ way to advertise.
It is an interesting idea for sure. But will they go for it?