Update, March 25, 2019 (02:45 PM ET): Google reached out to Android Authority to clarify some alleged inaccuracies with the Bloomberg report cited below. Google says it denies the report that it is no longer working on new high-end original content, saying that it has several scripted projects in development.
Google also said that it is developing “new series and formats that will appeal to a global audience through a new ad-supports model that will be in place for all of our series and events by the end of the year.” It also said that the YouTube Premium model will remain the same.
Original article, March 25, 2019 (01:03 PM ET): According to a new report from Bloomberg, YouTube is planning on shifting its strategy when it comes to the original content it offers with its YouTube Premium service.
This information comes from anonymous sources with knowledge of the inner-workings of YouTube.
The report suggests that YouTube has already canceled at least two of its high-profile original offerings: the sci-fi drama “Origin’’ and the comedy “Overthinking with Kat & June.” YouTube has also reportedly stopped accepting pitches for new original content.
If this information is valid, it would represent a huge shift for YouTube’s ambitions. The YouTube Premium service was building up to be a Netflix competitor, offering high-quality original programming for a flat monthly fee. With the looming announcement of Apple’s media streaming service along with the multiple competitors already littering the landscape, it’s likely YouTube is feeling the heat and electing to pull out of the crowded market.
Instead, the report suggests YouTube Premium will focus on music-related content as well as content co-created with established YouTube stars, rather than Hollywood talent.
The company will also allegedly create more ad-supported content, putting less emphasis on YouTube Premium subscriptions.
As of right now, this information doesn’t suggest that YouTube Premium is ending or radically changing any time soon. However, it does suggest that the YouTube Premium product as it currently stands is not seen as viable long-term and will need to change in order to adapt.