YouTube is offering more than a dozen of its original shows for free streaming during the coronavirus lockdown. The programs, which include the murder-mystery competition ‘Escape the Night’ (Seasons 1-4), dance drama ‘Step Up: High Water’ (Seasons 1-2), supernatural thriller ‘Impulse’ (Seasons 1-2), comedy series ‘Foursome’ (Seasons 1-2) and animated kids’ show ‘Sherwood’, were originally only available to YouTube Premium subscribers who pay $11.99 per month in the US and Rs. 129 per month in India under normal circumstances.
The news has been confirmed by YouTube’s global head of original content, Susanne Daniels, who said: “With a diverse collection of fan-favourite YouTube originals now available to stream for free, we are continuing to promote safety while offering our users of all ages entertainment across the globe”. She also confirmed that the programs will remain ad-free even for non-paying users. The free access went live on Wednesday, but there’s no word on how long the ‘limited period’ offer will last.
Alongside the aforementioned shows, some of the other content that will be available for streaming to free users in the coming weeks will include a slew of kids programs and family-oriented originals, including We Are Savvy, Hyperlinked, Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force and Kings of Atlantis. Some new originals, such as the Justin Bieber docu-series ‘Seasons’ and James Charles’ ‘Instant Influencer’, are already available for free with ads. You can check out the entire list on the official website.
YouTube’s decision to free-up some of its paywalled content comes after a slew of other streaming platforms, like HBO, Amazon Prime, Sling TV and SiriusXM, have opened up some of their premium content for free streaming amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see if the rebranded Disney+ Hotstar and other streaming services in India will do something similar in the coming days.
You can watch these YouTube originals here.