With people getting more and more used to being able to watch films on-demand in an instant - be it legally or otherwise - it's wise of YouTube to embrace speed over immediate profit.
It may not yet rival ad-supported streaming competitors like Hulu yet, but according to Dhawan, the company does plan to expand its selection of free feature films. The world's largest streaming video platform is now offering legitimate versions of almost 100 films to audiences for free - movies like The Terminator, Legally Blonde, the first five Rocky films, and Hackers.
There's no word on what other movies will be coming, or with which studios YouTube has cut deals. Many movie fans would gladly sit through a couple handfuls of commercials to watch movies for free rather than paying to see them on a pay per view basis.
The films will appear under the "Free to Watch" option under the recently released collection of movies and TV show that are available for rent or sale. "It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers", Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube, told Ad Age. However, several movies are from the MGM library, which includes the Rocky movies, original Terminator, Legally Blonde, Pink Panther series, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
The reasons users are supporting the change are obvious; everyone likes free movies.
There's no word on how YouTube Premium subscribers are affected by this, but some users report (and it seems likely) that the ad-free subscription extends to these free movies as well.