YouTube Reportedly Pulling Out of Producing Original Shows

Posted on March 25, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple with 20 Comments

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.

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “YouTube Reportedly Pulling Out of Producing Original Shows”

  1. gregsedwards

    But there's still going to be another season of Cobra Kai, right?!

    (This is mostly rhetorical, as I'm already aware there's going to be a second season. It's going to be free with ads. My point is that it's the hero image shown in the headline, yet the article fails to specifically call it out at all.)

  2. bharris

    I would like to know how many people are watching original content on lesser known providers like Crackle. With so many cable networks & streaming services, it is almost impossible for shows to get any traction without spending a bunch of money on production/talent (i.e. Games of Thrones) or promotion. Unless you're willing to make a huge investment to get a true hit like House of Cards, I don't see how it is a good business to enter into,

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to bharris:

      I used to watch Comedians Getting Coffee on Crackle but that got taken over by Netflix. Nothing else they had was of any interest to me. I simply used Crackle to watch re-runs of 70's and 80's sitcoms.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to bharris:

      That's how it's always been and always will be. You can't just make something and hope people find it. It doesn't matter what it is.

  3. Patrick3D

    They targeted a very narrow slice of the market and lost. People interested in Youtube "stars" were not interested in paying to see those people as they were already accustomed to watching them for free. The no-ads incentive was pointless since most people us an ad blocker extension. Original shows lacked promotion partly due to ad-blockers as well. I had heard of the "Cobra Kai" show but honestly couldn't have told you what platform it was on, if forced to guess I would have simply said Netflix. It will be interesting to see if they make any further attempt to directly monetize Youtube.

  4. jboman32768

    Red's dead baby.

  5. Bats

    AT least keep the Karate Kid!!!

  6. heyitstodd

    Google is much stronger at ripping creators off via copyright infringement and criminally low royalties than actually creating content. Stay in your lane, bro.

  7. locust infested orchard inc

    Quote by Mehedi Hassan, "...Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube is pulling out of the business as it looks to shift its focus elsewhere"

    "Elsewhere" implies, ads, ads, and yet more ads, superimposed on videos, and of course being a Google-owned company, a healthy dose of mass user data-harvesting and surveillance.

    There's nothing like falling back onto the core of one's business when the economic realities strike home.

  8. Stooks

    SSDD with Google.

    I fully expect to see the same thing from them on gaming 2-3 years from now. The gaming app will be "beta" for 2 years, then go production for 6months to a year and then get canceled. I cant and wont get involved with any new Google apps because I am not sure if it will be there in 3 years.

    Between their messaging apps train wreck and the their music/video offering disaster why would any consumer want to choose them?

    I want watch a movie and get it from Google......should I get it on.... Google Play video, YouTube, YouTube Red or YouTube TV????? If it is about gaming will be on YouTube gaming as well?

  9. murray judy

    Alphabet has a solid history of entering new markets and then backing out when the economic realities hit. It was hoped that Ruth Porat would impose some financial discipline when she became CFO. Maybe they need to get her involved *before* pulling the trigger on the next adventure.

  10. Chris_Kez

    For better or worse YouTube is all about its worldwide network of creators (oh, and music). It never really made sense for Google to pump lots of money into producing their own stuff. They should just focus on keeping the community happy.

  11. jimchamplin

    And they totally aren't going to lose interest in Stadia in 18 months and drop it unceremoniously...

  12. ubelhorj

    I subscribe to Red or Premium out whatever they call it now. I've never watched any of their original stuff. I just want music and no ads in the stuff I was already watching.

  13. RobCannon

    More reason to avoid their gaming service.

  14. Jeff.Bane

    Cobra Kai wasn't the cash cow they expected it to be? ;)

  15. solomonrex

    They have been trying to crack this for years now, but refuse either to remake youtube or to separate fully from youtube. They're even sending music through the youtube brand, which makes very little sense. I remember them doing an experiment with CBS for the original Star Trek, and then going nowhere.

    They had, at one point, some original free content and an app where you would subscribe to something and it would actually play the next episode 'thing' in the 'channel'. About the time that Jay Leno was on there, iirc. It made sense and it, you know, resembled Netflix. Then they moved everything around, broke the app and I lost interest. Kids still flock to see videogame streamers but really they're the dollar store of video, full of knockoffs and illegal clones. There's no real reason for Google to use the YouTube brand for anything except illegal streaming. They need a real video service, not google play movies and not youtube and not YouTube TV.