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Why Has Google Killed YouTube Originals?

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Google is shifting its focus away from YouTube Originals to invest more in other initiatives like YouTube Shorts. Here’s everything you need to know.

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YouTube Originals is officially dead, or at least for the most part. YouTube Originals saw the company produce various exclusive content giving Netflix direct competition. However, Google is changing course to focus on other things, and YouTube Originals will no longer be the same.

Here’s why Google decided to kill YouTube Originals.

Google Kills YouTube Originals

YouTube is massively scaling back on its YouTube Originals division created in 2016. In a statement, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, broke the news on Twitter detailing that the company will scale back on the entire division. Moving forward, Kyncl says, YouTube will only continue to fund original content in the YouTube Kids Fund and the Black Voices Fund.

However, in the meantime, YouTube plans to honor its ongoing contractual agreements. Original programming from YouTube Originals was exclusively available to YouTube Premium subscribers.

Related: Is YouTube Premium Worth the Cost?

Why YouTube Originals Is Dead

YouTube Originals is dead for several reasons. Since the division’s inception, there have not been any massively successful hits. One of the reasons YouTube is cutting its losses is clear to see.

One of its most popular shows by far was Cobra Kai, a sequel to The Karate Kid, in 2018. That’s one of the reasons why Netflix picked up the show for Seasons 3 and 4. But besides Cobra Kai and a few other Hollywood-style shows, titles from YouTube Originals weren’t as successful as anticipated. Check out our list of the best YouTube Originals shows you can watch today.

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Photo of a person using YouTube on their phone

In addition to that, the division’s leader, Susanne Daniels, an entertainment industry veteran that the company appointed when launching YouTube Originals, is on her way out. Another reason why YouTube Originals is scaling down is because of changes in the video industry.

Google Never Shies Away From Testing Ideas

If there’s a list of companies that know how to cut their losses, Google will rank first. Google loves experimenting with different ideas and jumping on the latest trends so often that it can be hard to keep up. YouTube Originals, previously known as YouTube Red Originals, launched when Netflix was taking off, and this was Google’s way of jumping into original content production.


However, as times continue to change, Google introduces new products. For instance, live streaming and short-form videos have become extremely popular in recent years, explaining the birth of YouTube Gaming and YouTube Shorts.


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