YouTube cancels original series just as Apple enters the game


One of the shows to get the boot.
Photo: YouTube

YouTube is reportedly canceling its original series just as Apple prepares to unveil a video streaming service of its own.

At least two of YouTube’s biggest shows have been axed, according to a new report. The service has also stopped accepting pitches for new originals as it drops plans to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

YouTube Premium was supposed to be Google’s answer to paid video streaming services. It was a big focus for the company when it launched, and there were plans for top-tier shows featuring big Hollywood stars.

But it doesn’t look like those plans have worked out for the world’s largest video platform.

YouTube drops original shows

Origin and Overthinking with Kat & June are two of the biggest shows YouTube has canceled, according to Bloomberg. Sources say the company no longer plans to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and, soon, Apple.

YouTube Premium will continue, but its focus will be centered even more on music. Original video will also continue, but the content will be made in collaboration with YouTube creators, rather than Hollywood studios.

The original video that does remain will be shifted from YouTube’s paid service to its free platform. That means you will no longer need a subscription to watch shows like Cobra Kai, one of the site’s most popular releases.

A half-hearted effort

The reason behind YouTube’s strategy shift is unclear, but it seems that competing with established premium video services isn’t easy. Some believe Google didn’t do enough to carve out a market of its own.

“In some ways, they never really went all-in on the strategy,” Anthony DiClemente, an analyst at Evercore ISI, told Bloomberg. “That’s like bringing a butter knife to a gun fight.”

Apple reportedly plans to spend $2 billion to make its own streaming service a success. Whether that will be enough remains a mystery for now. We’ll find out just how compelling its video platform might be later on today.