Google would like to use YouTube's database to show free movies with ads. The goal is to relaunch Google Play Movies
YouTube could soon become like television, broadcasting through the Google Play Movies app movies and TV series even without a subscription, but with ads inside. This is one of the hypotheses Google is studying, and at the moment it can't be satisfied with the lack of success of its current service compared to its competitors.
The novelty is not yet official, perhaps it will never become official, but it has been discovered in the code of version 4.18.37 of the app by the experts at XDA Developers. Similar traces were found and published by 9to5Google, which also tells how the code reads that "Hundreds of movies with few ads" will be available. The hypothesis of 9to5Google is that Google will insert a section within Play Movies in which non-subscribers will be able to find free movies with advertising. Also according to 9to5Google, then, the introduction of this feature could be accelerated by the current Covid-19 emergency, which forces millions of people around the world to stay at home.
How Google Play Movies works today
The Google Play Movies app, which in several countries is called Google Play Movies & TV, is a streaming content service: movies and TV series can be purchased or rented by the user and do not contain advertising. The cost of rental starts at 99 cents including VAT, but the average price of new releases is 3.99 euros for rental and 9.99 euros for purchase. There's a price difference based on quality: HD costs 1 euro more.
How Google Play Movies could work for free
This operating and monetization model isn't going great, so far: Google Play Movies doesn't have an audience comparable to that of the various Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and other similar services. This is also due to the fact that Google has never put much order in its paid content offering, now divided between YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, Google Play Movies. The only service that doesn't fear crisis is YouTube, which is the only one free but with ads in the middle of the videos. The idea that leaks from the code of the new app, then, is to bring back the YouTube user experience on Play Movies as well: want to watch something, but don't want to pay for it? You can do that, but with some advertising in it. If it works with YouTube, why wouldn't it work with Google Play Movies?