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You Can Now Watch Free Movies on YouTube (Legally)

Dave Parrack 19-11-2018

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 Copyleft vs. Copyright: 3 Key Concepts You Need to Know Content creators are beginning to embrace copyleft over copyright. Here's what that means and why it's important, especially if you're a creator yourself. Read More 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.

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 The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites Are you looking for the best free online movie streaming sites? Here's where you can watch free and legal movies at any time. Read More available online. Which includes The Roku Channel (which is now available on the web The Roku Channel Brings Free Movies to the Web You no longer need a Roku device to watch Roku's free, ad-supported movie channel. Because The Roku Channel is now on the web. Read More ), and Vudu’s Movies On Us Vudu Offers 1,000+ Free Movies On Us Vudu has launched a new offering called Vudu Movies On Us. This lets you watch thousands of movies and television shows for free with "limited commercials". Read More .

Image Credit: Rego Korosi/Flickr

Related topics: Online Video, YouTube.

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  1. peter turner
    September 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Must be watching a different youtube cause i see all the best movies you have to pay to watch.

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