YouTube is reportedly testing a new product called “Playables” which offers online games for users on both mobile and desktop platforms. This move, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, is seen as a potential new source of income for the video platform. The games are accessible on the YouTube website via a web browser or on the Android or iOS app.
YouTube Playables as A New Gaming Product
The new gaming product, Playables, allows users to play online games directly on YouTube. The company has invited its employees to test the product, which is currently available on both mobile and desktop platforms. The games are instantly playable, providing a seamless gaming experience for users. One of the games mentioned for testing is Stack Bounce, an ad-supported arcade game where players smash layers of bricks with a bouncing ball.
Despite the failure of Google's Stadia games streaming service, the company is not backing down from its gaming ambitions. Google Stadia was a cloud gaming service that allowed users to stream games on various devices without needing a console or a powerful PC. Google launched Stadia in November 2019, but shut it down on January 18, 2023, due to low user adoption and developer support. With its massive audience, YouTube provides a ready market for the new product. The Playables initiative is somewhat similar to Netflix Gaming, which offers its paying users access to casual games on mobile.
A Response to Declining Ad Spending
The move to integrate gaming into YouTube comes as the platform seeks to diversify its revenue streams in the face of declining advertising spending. YouTube CEO Neal Mohan is reportedly pushing for new areas of growth, and the Playables project is part of this strategy.
Google's new initiative comes as other video on-demand companies, including Netflix and Amazon, continue to make inroads into the gaming sector. However, the Wall Street Journal did not provide information on when Playables might target a public launch.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said, “Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube. We're always experimenting with new features, but have nothing to announce right now.”