YouTube currently offers original video content, under the YouTube Originals brand, as part of its Premium version, which costs $11.99 per month. Fortunately for consumers who may not be willing to pay for YouTube's original offerings, a free version of YouTube Originals will be available in the future.
During its annual Brandcast event for advertisers, YouTube's Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl reiterated the company's plan on lifting the paywall from its original content. Instead, it will be offered to consumers free of charge, but they will come with ads.
The Google-owned company already confirmed that plan late last year and the free Originals service is expected to go live sometime in 2020. It should be noted, though, that the premium offering will stay in place for viewers who may not want to be interrupted by ads. Also, not all original content will go free at the outset. Moving its original programming into an ad-supported window will take quite a while to complete until every content becomes free to watch for all consumers.
Among the Originals that will eventually go free is Cobra Kai, based on the movie Karate Kid. The first season of the series will become available with ads from August 29 to September 11 of this year. It remains to be seen, though, how YouTube's change in strategy around original programming will fare against the competition.