YouTube today announced it will for the first time stream free, ad-supported TV shows — a move that puts in into more direct competition with the growing number of free streaming services on the market, including Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Xumo, Plex, and NBCU’s Peacock.
The video giant says you’ll now be able to stream nearly 4,000 episodes of TV for free, as long as you’re also willing to watch ads during the show. Shows available include Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda, and Heartland, and you’ll be able to watch them in the US on the web, mobile devices, and “most connected TVs via the YouTube TV app,” YouTube says in a blog post.
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YouTube is already home to a number of free, ad-supported movies, so today’s launch of free TV is more of an expansion of its existing free streaming efforts, rather than something entirely new for the company.
YouTube is also already where many people spend a lot of time watching videos, so it’s not hard to imagine people checking out TV shows they can stream for free while scrolling through other YouTube content.
It plans to add up to 100 more titles each week, including both shows and movies, to its free streaming collection.