YouTube quietly offers free movie streaming

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The films will be ad-free for YouTube premium members. But the main reason YouTube is integrating more movies is that advertisers have been asking for content that is guaranteed to be family-friendly.

The "Free to watch" category includes mostly older films, but there are some cult classic and critically acclaimed titles like "Rocky, ' 'Legally Blonde, ' 'The Terminator" and 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'.

AdAge confirmed that the Google video service quietly started adding free, ad-supported movies in October.

Viewers may have a hard time finding these free movies on their own, though, as there's no mention of them on YouTube's homepage.

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As HotHardware reports, sitting through the free version of The Terminator available on YouTube requires also viewing ten commercial slots. "It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers".

'We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies, ' Rohit Dhawan, YouTube's director of product management, told Ad Age.

YouTube earns revenue from the movies through advertisements, instead of charging customers to view the movies. This is Youtube's first foray into free movie streaming with ad breaks.

Over in the Movies & Shows section, YouTube has been allowing customers to buy TV shows and films for some time. Last month, movies like Legally Blonde and pics from the Rocky franchise (Rocky I-V to be specific) popped up on the streaming service.

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