Google is bidding farewell to its longstanding service, Play Movies & TV, marking a significant shift in its digital media landscape. As of October 5, 2023, the Google Play Movies & TV app will cease to be available on Android TV devices, as confirmed by ArsTechnica. However, users can still purchase or rent movies directly through the “Shop” tab on Android TV.
A Slow Decline
The demise of Play Movies & TV reflects its gradual decline over recent years. In 2022, the service underwent a transformation into Google TV for smartphone users. Meanwhile, on non-Android TV-based televisions, it vanished back in 2021.
From Empire Building to Streamlined Services
Once a pivotal component of Google’s broader media empire, Google Play was part of an ambitious strategy that included the Google Play Store for Android apps and games, Play Music, Play Books, Play Newsstand, and Play Movies and TV. This comprehensive approach mirrored Apple’s ecosystem, particularly iTunes, which bundled various types of content for iPod and iPhone users.
During its zenith, the Play Store featured tabs for apps, music, books, magazines, movies, TV shows, and even a dedicated “devices” hardware store. However, over time, many of these elements were replaced by separate applications, notes NIX Solutions. For instance, Google News and YouTube Music now handle news and music, respectively. Hollywood movies are still accessible for purchase on YouTube, Google TV, and Android TV, though the “Movies” tab remains available within the Google Play store interface.
Google’s decision to consolidate its media services into YouTube, Google TV, and Android TV marks the end of an era for Play Movies & TV, reflecting the evolving landscape of digital content consumption.