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YouTube Drops Paywall, Unlocks Over a Dozen Originals to Stream for Free

YouTube is the latest company to give access to content that is usually behind a paywall. According to Variety, the platform announced they’re opening up more than a dozen originals for everyone to stream, no subscription needed. Titles include seasons one to four of “Escape The Night,” the first two seasons of “Step Up: High Water,” “Impulse” and “Foursome,” as well as animated kids’ show “Sherwood.”

Typically, YouTube originals only are available to subscribers of YouTube Premium, which costs $11.99 per month, but the move allows fans to enjoy the shows without a subscription for a limited time free of ads.

“With a diverse collection of fan-favorite YouTube originals now available to stream for free, we are continuing to promote safety while offering our users of all ages entertainment across the globe,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content.

As more and more people are staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, several companies have granted free access to content that usually resides behind a paywall. Amazon recently dropped their paywall and gave free access to kids’ programming across the globe.

According to Variety, everyone now has access to content that was previously exclusive to Prime Video customers, including Amazon original series “Just Add Magic,” “Pete the Cat” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Select seasons of PBS Kids shows such as “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Odd Squad” and “Wild Kratts” are also available, and in Europe, third-party content includes “Peppa Pig” and “Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom.”

WWE also recently announced they’re unlocking their streaming service, WWE Network, and offering the vast library — including all past WrestleManias — for free.

Fans will get access to other major events such as every Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series as well as every NXT TakeOver and NXT UK TakeOver. Originals such as the “WWE 24” docu-series, “Broken Skull Sessions” with (Stone Cold) Steve Austin, “WWE Ruthless Aggression,” as well as its 20-episode predecessor “The Monday Night War,” are also available.

For their part Comcast has unlocked access to on-demand programming from more than two dozen more entertainment networks and subscription video services, made the on-demand catalogs from a series of premium networks and SVOD services available, and made nearly 2,000 hours of programming for kids K-12 available free of charge for their Xfinity X1 and Flex customers.

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