YouTube adds tons of catalog TV episodes to stream for free with ads

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James Martin/CNET

YouTube is adding thousands of TV show episodes available to stream for free with advertising as it continues to woo you to spend more time glued to YouTube on connected TVs.

The shows are licensed “catalogue” programs that are usually available to stream for free with advertising on a bunch of other services as well, the kinds of series most people would associate with traditional networks. A sampling of titles includes Hell’s Kitchen, Scream Queens and Unsolved Mysteries.

YouTube has been streaming licensed movies with ads for free since 2018, but the addition of TV episodes also bolsters its attempt to leverage licensed catalogs of traditional programming to let you spend more time watching YouTube on a device. connected television, such as a Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple. TV. YouTube regularly showcases its growth in connected TVs to advertisers, hoping to shift ad dollars that might normally go to regular networks as more people turn to streaming as their primary way to watch video.

You can find YouTube’s free shows on just about any type of device by going to its Movies & Shows section. But regardless of the ubiquitous availability, this type of longer, longer programming is primarily aimed at encouraging people to watch on streaming TVs.

YouTube said Wednesday it added 4,000 episodes. It has started adding shows over the past few weeks and plans to add up to 100 new titles each week. They will join its collection of 1,500 films from Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Lionsgate, FilmRise and other studios.

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