If ever you wanted to watch a movie on YouTube for free without breaking the law, now is your time. Feature films have been available to purchase and/or rent on the Google-owned site for years, but last month YouTube rolled out a number of free, ad-supported offerings without making an explicit announcement about the new feature. Among the 100 or so titles currently available are “Rocky,” “Legally Blonde,” and “The Terminator.”
As for the ads themselves, they aren’t as obtrusive as you might fear: Watching Arnold Schwarzenegger say “I’ll be back,” for instance, will require you to endure nine commercial breaks across the sci-fi classic’s 107-minute runtime.
“We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies. Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user?” Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube, said to AdAge. “It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers.”
A free-to-watch playlist has already been created, and though some selections inspire more confidence than others — most viewers will probably more excited for “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” “The Assassin,” and “Drug War” than “Zookeeper” or “Agent Cody Banks 2” — it’s slated to expand in the weeks and months to come.