YouTube takes on Netflix and Amazon with 40 new original shows

YouTube has announced that it’s producing 40 new shows for online streaming, pitting itself against already established streaming giants Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu.

There’s an impressive roster of talent too, with Kevin Hart helming a fitness show, Ellen DeGeneres helming a behind-the-scenes celebrity show, and Ludacris presenting a talent show produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions. 

Building on the strength of its current content creators, YouTube is creating a long-form version of its most popular daily show Good Mythical Morning from Rhett & Link, and giving The Slow Mo Guys their own show to explore the world of technology. 

Free to watch?

The thing that could prove to be the competition-killer is that all of these shows will be completely free to watch; YouTube will drive revenue entirely from advertisements. 

Adverts are already a common occurrence on YouTube, so this shouldn’t be too painful, but obviously we’ll have to wait and see how many adverts there are. 

Advertisers target successful YouTube videos using Google Preferred,  Google’s algorithms to give each channel a ‘Preference score’ based on the popularity of the channel and how passionate people are about it. This helps YouTube to classify which channels are “like prime-time television” as Google puts it in its explanation video.

If you would rather not have the adverts, you can sign up to YouTube Red where all videos are ad-free. The monthly subscription service also allows you to download videos, which could prove invaluable if you want to watch one of the new shows on your daily commute. 


Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.