YouTube Makes All Original Series & Specials Free From Today, And Announces New Slate Of Shows
It has been talked about for a while, but YouTube is making its original series and specials free (with ads) from today.
This new strategy is been kicked off by dropping the critically-acclaimed and fan-favourite first season of ‘Cobra Kai‘ in front of the paywall for a limited time with season 2 premiering on 11th September 2019. Previously, only the first two episodes of season 1 and the first episode of season 2 were available to sample in front of the paywall. Beginning today, fans without a YouTube Premium subscription can binge-watch the entire first season of ‘Cobra Kai’. On Wednesday, 11th September, Season 2 will premiere in front of the paywall for a limited time with one episode dropping each week.
‘Cobra Kai’, which continues the story of the original ‘Karate Kid’ movies, has been a huge international hit for YouTube with the first episode of season 1 boasting nearly 55 million views and the first episode of season 2 besting the season 1 premiere by 136%, making it the fastest YouTube Original to hit 20 million views in just 6 days. Production on season 3 will begin shortly. The series, produced by Sony Pictures Television, is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.
“Today, we are welcoming a global audience to enjoy our award-winning series and specials,” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer for YouTube. “We see a tremendous opportunity to develop more region-specific content, particularly in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and will continue to partner with the biggest stars and creators in the world to share their stories and voices.”
For those of you wondering what this means for your YouTube Premium subscription, you will continue to get ad-free access to all YouTube Originals with all episodes available to them at once to binge. Additionally, YouTube Premium subscribers will have exclusive access to director’s cuts and bonus content of YouTube Originals when available.
In addition to the change in access to YouTube Originals, the company also announced a new slate of programmes coming soon to the service. They include:
‘The School Of…’ (premiering October 2019)
This series sees the hugely successful YouTube philosophy channel The School of Life collaborate with a group of the world’s most interesting and diverse YouTube creators to explore some of the greatest philosophical questions of our age. In a series of stand-alone films that includes titles like ‘Should I Marry Someone I Don’t Love?’, ‘Will The Next Picasso Be A Robot?’ and ‘Is Democracy Dangerous?’, the creators tackle the subjects in a relatable and impactful manner, encouraging their audiences to see each topic in a whole new light. Creators featured in season one include The Martinez Twins, Hannah Stocking, Luzu, Lady Leshurr and Adam Saleh.
‘Virtually History’ (premiering 6th November 2019)
Created in partnership with Remarkable TV (part of EndemolShine UK), this 30 min special is launching on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall brings an immersive new way for history to be brought to life. Three people with a family connection to the Berlin Wall and three YouTubers will be transported back in time through the power of VR, to experience what is was like to live through this unprecedented moment in European history. Three photographs depict a different and important moment in the history of the Berlin Wall will be recreated in stunning VR and offer a very unique and emotional lens on the powerful human stories that lie behind the history of the wall. As our contributors dramatically step into the virtual recreations of their family’s past with our historian host, simultaneously a group of profile YouTube creators will follow their journey, allowing for the past to be experienced first hand, across generations and continents as never before.
‘The Edge of Science’ (premiering December 2019)
Produced by BBC Studios Science Unit, Colin Furze and other passionate YouTube science creators team up with Cambridge University scholar, podcaster and writer Rick Edwards to put the most ‘out there’ ideas in science to the test in an ambitious range of stunts and experiments. Groundbreaking and pioneering, this special will explore the science behind levitation investigating whether science can make the impossible possible. Our intrepid team head off to meet the scientists behind cutting edge research into acoustic and quantum levitation and put their theories to the test, with a range of stunts that will challenge our understanding of the world as we know it. They’re even going to attempt to break a world record along the way. A future of flying trains, walking on water and in which rain fall upwards, is closer than we think. The Edge of Science will premiere on the BBC Earth YouTube Channel.
In addition, they have announced return dates for two YouTube Original shows – ‘Liza on Demand’ and ‘Impulse’.
‘Liza on Demand’ Season 2 premieres 25th September 2019
With more than 37 million views on the first episode of season 1, YouTube creator Liza Koshy is back alongside Kimiko Glenn and Travis Coles for season two of ‘Liza on Demand’.
Season 2 brings even more misadventures with Liza (Liza Koshy) and her roommates Harlow (Kimiko Glenn) and Oliver (Travis Coles), as they navigate trends, friends, and making ends meet. From going off the grid to competitive decluttering, from getting lost in obsessive photo editing to putting on a musical about gentrification, Liza, Harlow and Oliver dive humorously headlong into current issues like body image, racism, and “compare and despair.” Whether it’s lowering their dating standards to basement level or taking on bar trivia night as “Threeyoncé”, this diverse group of friends navigates the often confusing but always entertaining journey of being young, single, and clinging to your optimism for dear life.
Fans without YouTube Premium can binge-watch the entire first season on YouTube now and watch new episodes of Season 2 for free as they premiere each week, in each case for a limited time. Premium members will have ad-free access to all episodes at once on September 25 to binge.
‘Impulse’ Season 2 premieres 16th October 2019
Following more than 53 million views of the first episode of season 1, ‘Impulse’ will return with an all-new season on October 16.
Maddie Hasson stars as Henrietta “Henry” Coles, a rebellious 17-year-old girl who has always felt different from her peers and longs to escape from her seemingly quaint small town. During a traumatic event, Henry discovers she has the extraordinary ability to teleport, and her newfound power confirms Henry’s conviction that she really was different from everybody else – but it now makes her the focus of those who want to control her. Missi Pyle stars as Henry’s mother, Cleo Coles.
Fans without YouTube Premium can binge-watch the entire first season on YouTube now and watch new episodes of season 2 for free as they premiere each week, in each case for a limited time. Premium members will have ad-free access to all episodes at once on October 16 to binge.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.