YouTube confirmed multiple outlets' reports that it will be scaling back production of its original shows and programs and offering them for free (with advertisements) by 2020.
Originally reported by Hollywood Reporter, YouTube executives do not wish to compete with the billions of dollars of investment that YouTube Original content competes against from the likes of Amazon Video, Hulu, and Netflix.
This strategy was confirmed by YouTube to Variety, where a spokesperson put out the following statement:
As we look to 2019, we will continue to invest in scripted programming and shift to make our YouTube Originals ad supported to meet the growing demand of a more global fanbase. This next phase of our originals strategy will expand the audience of our YouTube Original creators, and provide advertisers with incredible content that reaches the YouTube generation.
The move aims to have this currently paywall protected content to all of the current 2 billion users of YouTube worldwide by 2020. In the meantime, content like season 2 of Cobra Kai will require users to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which costs 12 U.S. dollars a month.