THR: YouTube pulling back from scripted content spending

Nov. 27, 2018 3:19 PM ETAlphabet Inc. (GOOG)DIS, NFLX, GOOG, AMZN, CMCSA, T, FOXA, FOX, GOOGLBy: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor46 Comments
  • YouTube (GOOG -0.6%, GOOGL -0.6%) is pulling back from scripted content output, a reversal of a strategy that pushed a premium subscription tier, The Hollywood Reporter says.
  • The video platform will cut back starting in 2020, and executive will double down on the ad-supported video by making all its originals free to all users, not just those paying $12/month for YouTube Premium.
  • That means a "serious budget reduction," if not a total pullback from what has been hot competition among distributors for bigger-budget content.
  • The platform might release a show week-to-week for free while giving Premium subscriber the option to binge.
  • YouTube's originals budget (said to be hundreds of millions of dollars a year) is still overshadowed by the billions annually at Netflix (NFLX +1.7%) and Amazon.com (AMZN -0.1%).
  • Also a player here: Hulu, co-owned by Comcast (CMCSA +1.6%), Disney (DIS +1.3%), Fox (FOX +0.6%, FOXA +0.5%) and WarnerMedia (T +1.5%).

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