Everyone can now step into the Cobra Kai dojo free of charge, as YouTube has made its flagship series Cobra Kai free to watch online. Previously, only the premieres of the show's first two seasons were available to stream on YouTube, with the rest of the episodes only available to the company's Premium subscribers.
On Thursday, the video-sharing platform made some changes by making all of its original series available to watch for free on the ad-supported service. "Today, we are welcoming a global audience to enjoy our award-winning series and specials," YouTube's chief business officer Robert Kyncl said in a statement. The first season of Cobra Kai is now free to watch for everyone, while the second season will follow on Sept. 11. However, both of these seasons will reportedly only be available for a limited time.
Cobra Kai serves as a direct sequel to the original Karate Kid movie trilogy, which starred Ralph Macchio as budding fighter Daniel LaRusso and Pat Morita as his trainer Mr. Miyagi. In the original movie, William Zabka also starred as the movie's antagonist Johnny Lawrence - the bully who winds up defeated by Daniel in their iconic fight. Cobra Kai presents viewers with an interesting new narrative by primarily following Lawrence as the protagonist, with Zabka reprising the role. Still feuding with Daniel, Johnny reopens the abandoned Cobra Kai dojo to pass along his knowledge to the next generation of fighters.
The quality of Cobra Kai has made the series a worthy successor to the original movie trilogy. Both Zabka and Macchio are better than ever as actors reprising the roles, and the writing has been top notch. After its premiere, word quickly spread about the must-see series, leading to over 5.4 million people watching the first episode within the first 24 hours of its upload. As of now, the series premiere has been viewed over 68 million times, and YouTube's plans to make the rest of the series free is only going to make those numbers ascend even higher.
Without getting into spoilers here, it can easily be said season 2 of Cobra Kai is just as strong in quality as the first, if not more so. YouTube Premium subscribers who have already seen every episode will certainly be wondering where the confirmed third season will be taking the story next. Reportedly, season 3 will dive into the origins of both the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do dojos, which will include actually sending Danial all the way to Japan. While there's not currently an official release date set, season 3 of Cobra Kai will premiere on YouTube sometime in 2020.
Reportedly, all new shows produced by YouTube after Sept. 24 will be released for free with ads. YouTube will also still be offering Premium subscriptions for users to enjoy the programming ad-free, as well has the opportunity to stream every episode of Cobra Kai anytime outside of these limited release windows. If you have yet to watch the series, there's no better time to start than now, and you can watch the series premiere below courtesy of Cobra Kai on YouTube.