A spokesperson for Google, YouTube's parent company, told Gizmodo that it introduced the "free to watch" section to its site in October, though reports of the feature just started surfacing this week. Users of the platform will now be able to watch films shows like Legally Blonde, Agent Cody Banks and Terminator in full, for free on the platform.
Dhawan said there may eventually be a way for advertisers to pay to sponsor individual movies, giving users complimentary views and exclusive screenings. Rohit Dhawan, YouTube's director of product management, told AdAge.
YouTube expects to add more titles to the "Free to watch" section over time. This is a new tactic for YouTube, which has long offered films and TV shows for purchase but never experimented with an ad-supported free model.
The films are supported with ads (because nothing is ever truly free), and they also appear to be ad-free for anyone with a YouTube Premium account.
It looks as though the available movie selection is only on offer in the USA at the time of writing, though it might expand to other regions given time.