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Conflicting reports over YouTube’s plans for original TV, so what about Coba Kai?

By Benjamin Bullard
Cobra Kai Season 2

We’ll still be able to wax on, wax off, and paint the fence — at least for now — but Cobra Kai and other scripted YouTube Premium series are getting plenty of buzz as conflicting reports swirl about the web giant’s plans for more original content.

Bloomberg is reporting that the Google-owned video platform is pivoting away from original TV-style content to focus instead on music, but a separate report via The Wrap appears to contradict that idea. A YouTube representative “pushed back against the [Bloomberg] report, indicating that YouTube had several scripted dramas and comedies in the works and would be announcing a fresh slate of shows in the near future,” according to The Wrap.

Bloomberg had originally reported that YouTube Premium would no longer accept new pitches for original shows, a move that’d mark a definite departure from the service’s recent strategy of battling platforms like Amazon and Netflix for bragging rights to original programming. But The Wrap’s report obviously calls that same idea into question. SYFY WIRE has reached out to YouTube for comment.

With a second season on the near horizon and a reported Season 3 already in the negotiating stages, Cobra Kai appears to be safe in any case. But Bloomberg reported that other shows already are beginning to fall out of the picture, including the sci-fi do-over story Origin, as well as the comedy Overthinking with Kat & June.

Already the planet’s most popular source for user-generated video content, it’s recently looked as though YouTube has been getting serious about putting out higher-budget programming it could call its own. Sci-fi and other genre shows already were shaping up to be a big part of that formula, with Origin, as well as horror-thriller Impulse (which already has a second season order) and animated time-traveling comedy Dallas & Robo, rounding out a YouTube lineup that still appeared to be expanding as recently as last year.

Name changes and juggled pricing plans have all been part of YouTube’s recent attempt at staking out its own place in the streaming wars. The company changed the title of its subscription-based service from YouTube Red to YouTube Premium in May of 2018, and announced last fall that it would dial back its overall subscription push in favor of a “Free to Watch” ad-based movie tier.

For now, you can still subscribe to YouTube Premium for $11.99 per month, and if you want access to complete seasons of shows like Cobra Kai, it’s still the only way to go. In the meantime, we’re just waiting for Johnny and Daniel to get back in the dojo when Season 2 of Cobra Kai arrives on April 24.