There are plenty of streaming services that you can watch for free, but they all will almost certainly include ads. That’s also the case for YouTube’s selection of free movies and shows, unless you happen to be a YouTube Premium subscriber.
YouTube Premium is YouTube’s subscription based service. Priced at $11.99 per month for individuals following a 1-month free trial, YouTube Premium makes it possible to watch YouTube videos offline, in the background, and uninterrupted by ads.
For most people, the main reason to consider signing up to Premium will be the ability to watch the general YouTube library without ads. However, all of Premium’s benefits, including ad-free viewing, also extend to YouTube’s selection of free movies and shows.
For those unaware, YouTube’s Movies & TV section, which is typically where a user rents or purchases a video, also includes a wide variety of free content. Similar to other free streaming services, including Pluto and Tubi, YouTube offers these movies at no charge thanks to the use of ads.
With Premium, however, they are all available ad-free and at no additional cost. YouTube does advertise this difference as well. For example, if you access the Movies & TV section with a non-Premium YouTube account, any movies or shows that are available to watch for free will be labeled as “Free with ads.”
In contrast, if accessing the same titles with a YouTube Premium account, they will simply be labeled as “Free” highlighting that they are available to watch for free without ads.
While the exact choice of movies and shows that are available to watch for free changes over time, there are usually 100s of titles available to watch at any time.
In addition, when it comes to shows there are often multiple seasons available to watch for free. For YouTube Premium subscribers, that not only means whole seasons for free, but also ad-free.
Compared to the wide variety of paid streaming services that are now available, it is probably not worth signing up to YouTube Premium just for ad-free access to these movies and shows.
However, if already signed up to YouTube Premium, having access to a variety of ad-free movies and shows for free is something to definitely be aware of. Even if not signed up to YouTube Premium, it is still worth being reminded of the fact that YouTube does have a bunch of movies and shows that you can watch right now for free.
If now considering giving YouTube Premium a try, in addition to the $11.99 per month Individual plan, YouTube also offers a Family plan (allows sharing with up to 5 additional members) for $22.99 per month. Alternatively, eligible students can sign up to YouTube Premium for just $6.99 per month.