YouTube is testing an online games offering called Playables

According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is exploring online games as a potential new revenue stream for YouTube, both for mobile and desktop. The popular video hosting platform has allegedly invited employees to test a new product called Playables, which allows users to access and play online games directly on YouTube. Interestingly, this feature is said to be available on both mobile devices and desktop computers, providing flexibility for users regardless of their preferred platform.

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Users will have the option to play these games directly on the YouTube website through a web browser or on the YouTube app, whether they are using an Android or iOS phone. Although the report suggests that several games are currently available for testing, the specific game mentioned is Stack Bounce, an ad-supported arcade game that challenges players to break layers of bricks using a bouncing ball. As highlighted in the article, YouTube already generates revenue from gaming livestreams, but the introduction of Playables will offer an additional means to generate income from the gaming industry, especially considering the recent decline in advertising spending.

It is worth noting that while Google’s previous venture into game streaming with Stadia did not thrive and was eventually discontinued, this latest initiative differs significantly. YouTube already boasts a massive audience that regularly visits the site, which ensures that the new product will have no shortage of users to engage with it. Playables can be likened to Netflix’s gaming product, which grants paying subscribers access to casual games on mobile devices. In fact, Netflix is also aggressively pursuing its gaming aspirations and reportedly testing TV games that utilize smartphones as controllers, aiming to expand beyond the mobile gaming realm.

By tapping into the online gaming market, Google and YouTube are strategically capitalizing on the existing popularity of their platforms. Playables has the potential to provide users with an enhanced gaming experience while offering a fresh avenue for YouTube to generate revenue and diversify its monetization strategies. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it will be intriguing to see how YouTube leverages this new product and whether it can replicate the success of its previous gaming ventures.