YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Reveals New Original Content Strategy and Talks Brand Safety

Plus, Adweek’s surprising role in the company’s decision to offer its original programming for free

YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl's upfront messaging: "Prime time is personal." YouTube

One year ago, YouTube made its biggest splash yet on the scripted originals front with Cobra Kai, its revival of the Karate Kid franchise. The company said the series’ first episode received more than 50 million views in its first five months. But despite that show’s success, the company has quietly shifted its original content strategy during the past year—and decided to offer all its future original programming for free, with ads, instead of restricting it to subscribers of its YouTube Premium services.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.