It looks like Google Play Movies might be preparing to add a selection of movies that users can watch for free. It is currently unclear when the feature could go live, although it is understood Google is working on the feature. This would offer another option to consumers wanting to spend as little as possible on streaming movies.
Google Play Movies is a popular service for those looking to buy or rent movies and show episodes. This is especially true for Android device owners, although the service can be accessed on a number of platforms and devices, including via the web browser. However, it now looks like it might be getting an injection of free movies thanks to the use of ads.
Code within a recent version of the Google Play Movies Android app reveals Google is working on the free feature. Spotted by XDA-Developers, the references clearly indicate that some titles will be available to watch for free with ads. In addition, the code strings indicate that 100s of movies will be available in this way. At the moment, it remains to be seen what the movies are or even when the feature will roll out.
Another major service turning to AVOD
One of the major trends of late is the ad-supported video on demand model, otherwise known as AVOD. In basic terms, this is the option of offering content for free but with the inclusion of ads. As paid-for services have increased in price, those that rely on the AVOD model have seen massive increases in monthly active users looking to save on the cost of movie and TV streaming.
In fact, the model has become so popular recently that many major names in the industry have started to buy up the services who are doing well in this subsection of the market. For example, Fox has now picked up Tubi, while Comcast now owns Xumo, and both of these occurred after ViacomCBS (back when it was just Viacom) purchased Pluto TV.
Due to this increased focus on the AVOD model, it is not too surprising to see Google also making moves into the market. This also will mean that Google Play Movies becomes a lot more like Vudu as that’s also a digital rental and purchase store that now lets users watch select content for ‘free with ads.’