EDUARDO PADRINO | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST
The Karate Kid is back! Earlier this year, YouTube announced that a TV show based on “The Karate Kid” series will premiere on the YouTube Red platform on May 2, 2018. The show is set 34 years after the original film and stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka will reprise their roles from this ’80s classic.
The plot of the show is pretty straight-forward: Johnny Lawrence, former rival of Daniel LaRusso, reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo while Daniel struggles to find balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi. Deadline.com described the show as “two men addressing past demons and present frustrations the only way they know: through karate.”
Despite the challenge of keeping up with the expectations set by the iconic original series, the success of “Cobra Kai” will determine whether YouTube’s own platform is up to compete with its rivals: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO, but how so?
YouTube Red has been putting up effort in releasing original projects such as “Single by 30” and “Bad Internet” in 2016. Now in 2018, YouTube brings forth yet another effort with a spinoff of one of the most popular movie series of all time. This take on a massively iconic story will put YouTube Red’s services on the spotlight of critics, producers and more importantly, fans of “The Karate Kid” series.
As of today, many people question whether it is worth it or not to pay $10 a month for the YouTube Red subscription when they can get the standard YouTube service for free and pay for another service like Netflix. The only thing that could start changing people’s minds is the success, quality and market value of YouTube’s originals, and “Cobra Kai” is a pretty good opportunity to increase the demand for the product.
Offering TV, music streaming and the YouTube videos that we all know and love, YouTube Red has it all for the taking and dominating the entertainment industry with power; but when it comes to addressing the question “will YouTube Red take over?”, the answer is that it is simply too early to tell.
YouTube has the potential of expanding its already massive control over the industry; however, the demand for its competitors in film and music will not be easily surpassed. Netflix is already the biggest movie-streaming service in the countries where it is available, and other services such as Spotify and Apple Music have proven themselves to be more appealing to the public than YouTube’s music app.
Despite the challenges to compete with other streaming services, YouTube Red will definitely become far more marketable within the next couple of years, and if its originals like “Cobra Kai” are successful, there is no reason why YouTube cannot expand its productions to feature films and a quality music streaming service to become one of the best entertainment services that the industry has to offer.