Google-owned video streaming platform YouTube is adding full TV shows in the US.
While typically associated with creator-driven content creation, YouTube has quietly built up an extensive array of free-to-view movies available in the US from distributors including Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and FilmRise.
The company is now expanding its offering into TV, making 4,000 episodes available to viewers in the country for free.
It said that full seasons of shows including Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda and Heartland will be available for US-located viewers for free with advertising.
Overall, YouTube said that it is adding at least 100 new movies and shows per week.
Accompanying this expansion into AVOD TV viewing, YouTube is launching new streamlined navigation and immersive banner art for its CTV app. This, it said, will help viewers to more easily find titles – whether that’s those available to watch with ads, or movies and series to rent or buy.
Fuelling this expansion, the company said, is an increasing number of viewers who watch YouTube on their smart TVs. According to Nielsen, YouTube reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the US in December 2021.