YouTube is starting to offer a number of movies for your viewing pleasure for free. Don't be surprised if the list of movies on offer is not the latest blockbusters from Hollywood - they mostly comprise of older flicks - and you'll also have to bear a few ads for the privilege.
Still, it's not all bad and YouTube's collection does include some old classics like the Rocky series, The Terminator and an assortment of Legally Blonde movies. By our count, the total number of movies found in YouTube's newly added 'Free to Watch' collection is 99.
The change seems to have originated in October, according to AdAge. Google has been selling the latest movies and TV shows through YouTube for a while now, but this is the first time that it's made them available for free - subsidised by ads, of course. The company's head of product management, Rohit Dhawan, had this to say about the move:
"We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user? It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers."
Unfortunately, the content also seems to be restricted by region. We were only able to access the free movies by using a VPN bouncing traffic off US servers. It's unclear which other regions will get access to the free movies, and if the selection on offer will differ based on local tastes and language. Trying to access the same link from Malaysia, for example, results in an empty page.
Dhawan did promise that YouTube will continue to work on expanding the selection of free movies, and that bigger blockbusters may start finding their way to the platform in this manner if movie studios start evolving their business models as the digital landscape becomes more and more important.