Movie studio Paramount Pictures hit the world with huge news yesterday. They've put more than 100 of their films up on a new YouTube channel called The Paramount Vault. This is not a drill: the account is an official one run by Paramount Pictures, and it's been verified by YouTube. It's a huge step for a massive company that, like the rest of Hollywood, has long been on the wrong side of the streaming war. Here's everything you should know, as well as tips about what to watch first!

This Is a Big Deal for Streamers and a Big Deal for YouTube

It goes without saying that putting up more than a hundred films for free is a pretty radical move. Paramount is betting that the channel will bring attention to their lesser-known movies (their biggest hits won't be available – more on that in a moment) and generate some goodwill toward their brand.

This is also a major coup for YouTube. Yes, YouTube has always been a major player in the streaming world, but they're better known for funny cat videos than for copyrighted content from major studios. That's changing. YouTube hosts a number of official channels that offer an impressive content selection. Major League Baseball houses a ton of classic games on YouTube that (to our annoyance) aren't even included in their own streaming service. CNN offers live streaming through YouTube. And now Paramount is there, too.

A Wide Selection, But Not a Complete One

100+ movies is an awful lot, but it's only a small portion of Paramount Pictures' catalog. As you might expect, Paramount's recent films are among the movies withheld from the service (that makes sense, as new movies can still generate revenue through Blu-Ray and digital copy sales). Also absent are some of Paramount Pictures' most iconic films, like Titanic.

That said, there are some real gems among the films that Paramount has made available to stream for free. Let's check out a few of our favorites.

What You Should Watch First

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003)

Clive Owen stars in this excellent British crime flick about a man investigating the mysterious death of his brother.

I Married a Monster From Outer Space (1958)

There are some really wonderful campy sci-fi movies in The Paramount Vault, any of which would be perfect for killing an afternoon on YouTube. I Married a Monster From Outer Space isn't quite as dumb as it sounds: it mixes a bit of smart sci-fi in with its campy B-movie elements.

Ironweed (1987)

Based on the William Kennedy novel of the same name, this well-crafted film follows a bum through the streets of 1930s Albany, New York. Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep both deliver remarkable performances. Ironweed might be the single best film available in The Paramount Vault.

King Solomon's Mines (1985)

This 80s action flick follows the story of a woman searching for her father. She hires an adventurer to help her track him down in the wilds of Africa.