Update: 10th February. The YouTube Red originals are now available to purchase in the UK. We’ve added the prices for each below.
YouTube has announced the release date for its first slate of YouTube Red originals.
The subscription service, which was launched last year, marks a big step forward for the video site, as it seeks to both drive up revenue and retain major talent. Original content has proven key to the growth of VOD services, as companies use exclusives to win customers from rivals. Where previously, the monthly fee would give users the ability to watch videos without adverts and download them for offline viewing, now, YouTube Red subscribers can get access to a range of new programming.
The first four shows and movies will all premiere on 10th February, following a preview of them at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and, in the case of Rooster Teeth’s Lazer Team, a brief international theatrical release.
Here’s a quick rundown:
A Trip to Unicorn Island
From the team at Astronauts Wanted, this feature-length movie gives fans an extraordinary look inside the life and journey of Lilly Singh as she embarks on a challenging 26-city global tour where she has to remember to practice what she preaches: happiness is the only thing worth fighting for. How much? £5.99
This feature film from AwesomenessTV weaves an amazing story of unlikely friendships, unleashing passions and discovering yourself all through the power of dance. How much?Currently not available in the UK
In this feature-length action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films, four small-town losers stumble upon an alien ship carrying a mysterious cargo, leading to a battle to save Earth from an all-powerful enemy. How much? £5.99
In this reality-adventure series from the creator and executive producers of The Walking Dead at Skybound Entertainment and Maker Studios, experience thrills, chills and laughter as PewDiePie encounters terrifying situations inspired by his favorite video games. How much? £1.89 per episode
The announcement of all four, complete with star vlogging names, positions YouTube Red as a new media rival to traditional TV networks – not unlike the way that Netflix has established itself as a global presence, YouTube is already accessible around the world, giving its titles unrivalled exposure.
Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube doesn’t shy away from comparing the site’s content to cable shows, with their stars having built u p”massive audiences”.
“With YouTube Red Originals, we want to help them tell bigger and bolder stories that delight you, their fans,” she writes in an official YouTube blogpost. “YouTube Red is your opportunity to support the passion projects your favorite creators have only dreamed about until now.”
She adds that these series and movies are “just the beginning”.
“We have lots more thrills, chills, LOLs, smiles, romances and surprises from more of your favorite YouTube stars coming later this year.”
A new YouTube channel has also been launched solely for the promotion of YouTube Red originals, beginning with this trailer:
For countries where YouTube Red has not yet launched – the subscription service is currently available in the US only – the originals will be available for purchase on the same day as their Red release, which means that UK fans can buy all four YouTube Red originals from 10th February.
Original movies will also be available to purchase from Google Play one month after their initial YouTube Red release, with series available for purchase one day after the last episode of the series has been released.
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