YouTube has quietly started offering a selection of free movies, as long as you’re willing to sit through some ads. While the selection of films on offer is initially small, we expect the number, and quality of flicks on offer, to increase over time.
There have always been feature-length movies available on YouTube. However, until now they’ve either been copyright-infringing uploads that have somehow circumvented YouTube’s filters, or legal uploads you can buy or rent for cold, hard cash.
How to Find Free Movies on YouTube
Now, you can watch movies on YouTube completely legally and without paying a penny. YouTube added its first set of free, ad-supported movies in October 2018 without publicizing the fact. But you can find the current crop under the “Free to Watch” category.
At the time of writing YouTube is offering around 100 movies for free. This includes Terminator, Legally Blonde, Rocky, Zookeeper, and Agent Cody Banks. So it’s fair to say there’s some cinematic classics mixed in with some not-so-great family fare.
— Ad Age (@adage) November 16, 2018
Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube, told AdAge, “We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user? It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers.”
It should be noted that this appears to only be available in the U.S. Everywhere else the “Free to Watch” category is empty, and searching for specific films Americans can now opt to watch for free just offers up the price to buy or rent them. Which is disappointing.
Other Free Movie Streaming Sites
YouTube hasn’t disclosed the terms of any deals it has forged to offer these movies for free. However, it’s safe to assume both YouTube and the studios are sharing revenues generated by the ads. And if enough people watch, the selection could grow over time.
YouTube isn’t the only option for free, ad-supported movies. We’ve previously detailed the best free movie streaming sites available online. Which includes The Roku Channel (which is now available on the web), and Vudu’s Movies On Us.
Image Credit: Rego Korosi/Flickr