You can already buy and rent digital movies through Google Play Movies & TV, purchases that also show up in YouTube if you're signed in with the same account. Now it looks as though YouTube is also adding whole movies free of charge to its portal, with a few adverts embedded along the way to help fund the service.
Don't expect the latest Hollywood fare though – as AdAge reports (opens in new tab), the films include Rocky, The Terminator and Legally Blonde. Decent flicks to help you through a Saturday evening, but not the most current of movies.
It looks as though the available movie selection is only on offer in the US at the time of writing, though it might expand to other regions given time. If you're a YouTube Premium subscriber, you should get the movies without any commercial breaks – another perk for handing over a subscription fee every month.
Opportunity for all
The move makes plenty of sense for studios looking to eke a few more pennies out of their older back catalogs, and for YouTube wanting more appealing content for its platform. For now though, YouTube and its partners are just testing the waters, with only around 100 films available through the scheme so far.
"We saw this opportunity based on user demand, beyond just offering paid movies," Youtube's Rohit Dhawan told AdAge (opens in new tab). "Can we do ad-supported movies, free to the user? It also presents a nice opportunity for advertisers."
Further down the line, YouTube says it might offer other options to film producers, such as sponsored and exclusive screenings through the site. In the meantime, have a hunt around for free movies on YouTube and see what you can find – you might not have to pay anything for your next movie night.
Via TechCrunch (opens in new tab)