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YouTube gives up premium video fight

YouTube PremiumFear not; you will still be able to crane kick with Daniel-san on “Cobra Kai.”

YouTube is surrendering to Netflix and Prime Video in the paid-streaming race. According to reports from Bloomberg, YouTube will be moving away from paid premium content, and will be canceling two original shows in the process: “Origin” and “Overthinking with Kat & June.” YouTube Premium’s most popular show, “Cobra Kai,” will still return for its second season in late April, and the show’s creators are still in negotiations for a third season on YouTube.

YouTube has not made an official statement yet on when paid content will be removed, so we can’t give an exact date on when the change will take place.

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The decision appears to have been made due to the high cost of competing with the big dogs in the market like Netflix. YouTube was able to compete for a while as “Cobra Kai” was the most-streamed show the week it was released, but YouTube has failed to consistently match those same numbers with other shows. YouTube Premium stopped reporting its subscriber numbers after the first year, when it had 2 million.

Formerly known as YouTube Red, YouTube Premium not only allowed access to original content, but also gave viewers an ad-free viewing experience and the ability to listen to videos without keeping the app open. YouTube is now working on a “shift to free” where all content on the site will be free for every viewer.

YouTube Premium will continue to exist with its other features, including ad-free and offline viewing. The change also suggests more focus on music, likely with a greater spotlight on emerging artists.

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