In May 2018, YouTube launched the US series Cobra Kai, and reported that its first episode had 50 million visits during it first five months. But, despite the content’s success, the company decided to change its strategy and offer all its original programming for free and with ads, instead of restricting it to YouTube Premium subscribers.
‘One of the changes we have made is to align our original productions with the way YouTube works, that everything is available for free, and that everything is available behind a payment wall if there are certain features that people value to pay a monthly subscription. With the originals, we’ve gone from focusing on boosting subscriptions to aligning with the main business’, said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Chief Brand Officer.
The free YouTube programs will include the first Cobra Kai two seasons, scheduled to start shortly, and with the third one already confirmed. In addition, from August 29th to September 11th, YouTube will make the entire first season of the series available for free. On September 11th, YouTube will offer Cobra Kai’s second season at no cost, with new episodes to be watched on a weekly basis. It is estimated that by 2020 all original YouTube productions will have free access and advertisements.