YouTube is backing out of the original content business. The company first got into the market with YouTube Red, which mostly consisted of popular YouTubers like PewDiePie working with the company to produce original shows. YouTube has since rebranded its premium offerings into YouTube Premium, consisting of its original shows as well as its music streaming service.
And now, Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube is pulling out of the business as it looks to shift its focus elsewhere. Apparently, YouTube no longer wants to invest money into original shows — something the company has done in the recent past — and instead, it wants to focus on Music, Gaming, and its ad-supported content. YouTube will allow users to view some of its original content for free (with ads) in the future.
The company is also cancelling sci-fi series Origin, and it’s also no longer going ahead with Overthinking with Kat & June. YouTube has also stopped accepting pitches for new scripted shows.
YouTube backing out of the business of the original shows comes on the same day Apple is expected to get into the market. Personally, I don’t think it is a huge surprise that YouTube’s originals haven’t succeeded. When the company first launched the shows, they were mostly focused on YouTubers and although that might have been entertaining enough for existing YouTube users, other original shows that cost millions to make probably weren’t able to get much traction. And let’s not forget YouTube was trying to compete with Netflix where there is a new original show almost every month. It’s incredibly competitive.