Google Play Movies prepares to add hundreds of ad-supported free movies

Google Play Movies prepares to add hundreds of ad-supported free movies

There are hundreds of video streaming services that allow you to watch your favorite TV series and movies at home, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more recently, Disney+. This is one area where Google doesn’t really compete. While the other aforementioned services allow you to pay a monthly fee to access all of their video content, Google Play Movies & TV is a marketplace where you can rent and buy digital movies and TV shows individually. However, Google seems to be planning a few changes to boost adoption, in particular, a free-with-ads scheme for movies.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.


As we mentioned before, the app currently only allows you to rent and buy movies and TV series, with just a very few exceptions of movies and shows that are straight-up made free. However, in version v4.18.37 of the Android application, we spotted a few strings hinting that Google will introduce a new free-with-ads selection of movies. One string, in particular, alludes to the presence of “hundreds of movies, just a few ads,” which suggests a big chunk of the app’s library may be made available in this new format. It’s not immediately clear, however, whether all of Google’s library will become available for free-with-ads or only just a few movies. Nevertheless, it would change radically the way the service works currently as well as make it a viable competitor to other streaming services.

<string name="athome_add_birthdate_to_watch">Add birthdate to watch</string>\n<string name="athome_free_with_ads">Free with ads</string>\n<string name="athome_free_with_ads_description">Hundreds of movies, just a few ads</string>\n<string name="athome_introduce_free_movies">Introducing</string>\n<string name="athome_watch_free_with_ads">Watch free with ads</string>

This feature is not available as of yet, but given how Google normally works, we could see this roll out anytime to Google Play Movies as a server-side update following an announcement.

Google TV
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

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Arol Wright
Arol Wright

Diehard technology enthusiast, and an Android purist by nature. While I have a soft spot for smartphones, I'm deeply interested in everything techy, be it PCs, gaming consoles, gadgets, you name it.

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