The video service is taking on Netflix and co. with its own original content.
Last October, YouTube launched YouTube Red, a subscription service that'll remove your ads for $9.99 per month. But that's only part of the service — YouTube is also following the Netflixes of the video world into original content, exclusive to YouTube Red, and enlisting its hugely popular creators to make it.
Starting today, anyone can watch the first four of YouTube's original offerings, featuring some of the most popular figures on the site. That's a logical idea, but it also means that for those not familiar with YouTube's often insular world, the new series and features are likely going to be more confusing than something like House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black, no matter how excitement-inducing they are for anyone who is already a fan.
YouTube is currently offering a free 30-day trial for YouTube Red, which will come in handy for those who want to watch these without a subscription. Here's what's just been released:
A Trip to Unicorn Island
A documentary-style feature-length film that follows YouTube celebrity Lilly Singh on a 26-stop world tour. In a press release, YouTube bills it as something that might teach you that "happiness is the only thing worth fighting for."
A comedy from the creators of Red vs. Blue, Lazer Team was released into select theaters ahead of its YouTube debut. It follows four guys who find an alien spacesuit, each put on one part of it, and have to find a way to work together. It was not critically well-received.