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YouTube reportedly canceling original series as it moves away from premium content

YouTube has canceled two of its biggest original series, and it’s not accepting pitches for new scripted shows, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The sci-fi series Origin and Overthinking with Kat & June have both reportedly been canceled, and YouTube no longer plans to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and, soon, Apple on original programming.

The news comes as Apple is gearing up to make its own push into original content with today’s expected launch of a new streaming TV service. Apple plans to spend as much as $2 billion on original content this year from established Hollywood figures like Oprah Winfrey and Chris Evans. Initially, the service is expected to rely more heavily on third-party shows from channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz as Apple builds out its own original programming.

At one point, Google had very different plans for its streaming service, which it hoped would offer original content exclusively to paid subscribers. However, late last year, reports emerged that the company would be shifting its focus away from subscriptions and instead focus on sponsorships and ad support for its future shows.

YouTube Premium (originally called YouTube Red) is expected to continue to be available, but its focus will be on music rather than premium original content. Along with including music-focused features such as background playback, YouTube has also commissioned programming about emerging music artists. Although original video content will continue, it will increasingly be made in collaboration with YouTube creators rather than Hollywood stars and studios.

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