YouTube is venturing into the online-gaming market, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. An internal company email shared with parent Google reveals that the video streaming giant is testing a new product, ' Playables' that is already made available to employees for testing.
YouTube recorded a 2.6% drop in year-on-year revenue, according to Alphabet’s latest earnings report published in April 2023; the move signals a clear indication toward solidifying newer revenue streams amid dipping ad revenues.
It must be noted that this is not YouTube's first foray into the gaming arena. Previously, the company had launched 'YouTube Gaming' in 2015—a stand-alone app where gamers and creators could find information on various games, stream live sessions and catch up on Esports recordings. However, after a lack of pick up, the site announced the app's closure in 2018, instead re-focusing on adding a gaming vertical to their main platform in hopes of raising audience engagement.
“Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube,” a company spokesman said in a statement to Wall Street Journal. “We’re always experimenting with new features, but have nothing to announce right now.”
The report also added that several games are being tested, including an expansion into the arcade gaming space with popular titles such as Stack Bounce, that can be played on YouTube's site on regular web browsers or via Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile systems.