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YouTube retreats from battle for original content

Said to want to avoid competition with Netflix and Amazon, and probably Apple

YouTube has cancelled plans for high-end content in a suspected pullback from its intended paid service.

According to Bloomberg, the company has stopped accepting pitches for scripted shows, axing projects such as sci-fi drama Origin and comedy Overthinking with Kat & June.

The withdrawal is speculated to avoid costly competition from Netflix and Amazon, with Apple expected to launch its own streaming service later today.

The move has brought into question the long-term future of YouTube’s head of original productions Susanne Daniels, who commented: “While it’s strangely flattering to be the topic of Hollywood gossip, please know I am committed to YouTube and can’t wait to unveil our robust slate of new and returning originals.”

BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield told Bloomberg: “Just because a big tech company wants to get into media, that doesn’t mean it’ll be successful.”