YouTube, with its plan to scale back scripted programming while offering its subscription content for free, seems to have learned that the subscription strategy is tough -- especially when you're not pouring as much money into it as Netflix, Amazon and other tech giants. "People publish on YouTube for its global reach, yes, but also because it's free," says Tim Goodman. "Paying for a premium service for originals hasn't worked because YouTube was born a free service and anytime people get something for free for long stretches of time, they get a little testy when you suddenly ask them to pay for it. Or, in this case, not testy but indifferent. Also, the platform was literally created for short-form video, not long-form. Users remain resistant to longer narrative-driven content. YouTube is figuring that out, trying to pivot and at the same time denying there's a failure — which is clever, but not believable. If YouTube makes its Originals free and then sticks ads in there, well, you can probably guess how successful that's going to be."
TOPICS: YouTube Premium, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, Google