With 1.9 billion monthly visitors, YouTube leads the business for video streaming services. However, with the advent of subscription-based services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Hulu and several others, it is no surprise that Google is eyeing to experiment in this market segment.
Google’s YouTube has quietly entered into the market of movie streaming by adding some 100 ad-supported movies for free viewing. This definitely is a plan of the company to take on streaming giants like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney Plus. However, its plan could be drastically different in order to make its mark, while exploring revenue generating options.
While Google is already offering its premium service with YouTube Red, the company is more likely to claim portion of its market share by streaming selected movies and shows free of cost. For now, only some movies are available for viewing in which viewers will have to watch advertisements.
YouTube is still the numero uno player with worldwide consumption of some 1 billion hours of video per day. The company has its live TV platform YouTube TV, YouTube Music, and ad-free Premium service, yet this new movie streaming service will further their effort.
Until recently, Google users only had option to buy movies from YouTube Movies channel, but now the platform has roughly added some 100 full-length movies for free. Doing so, the video platform is eying to increase user engagement. This seems a uniform business opportunity for both YouTube and the studios–willing to provide licensing for sharing content.
For now, the number of freely available titles under YouTube’s movie selection include, The Terminator, Legally Blonde, Rocky, Zookeeper, Monsters and few independent films and documentaries.
However, YouTube is not the only video platform that is now looking to capitalize on this business opportunity. “The Roku Channel” launched in October 2017 is also providing ad-supported content from many studios, including Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros. Besides, Walmart also offers its own free movies collection through its 2010-acquired content delivery platform “Vudu”.
So, with premium service providers like Amazon Prime and Netflix, this ad-supported movie streaming will further expose the market and at least compel others to either lower their subscription fee or have an alternative free movie streaming option. But this can only happen, when Google invests considerable budget in producing original content. Until then many would certainly prefer Netflix and Amazon for original, quality and fresh content.
NOTE: The company has just started rolling out free content. So, the list of free movie titles might not be available in all the countries. However, we can certainly hope that the company is soon making this available everywhere with an extensive catalogue.