Google Play Movies & TV – and the Google Play brand in general – seems doomed. Google already removed the Play Movies & TV app from Rokus and other smart TV platforms last year and will now remove the Movies & TV section from the Play Store. The Play Store, which used to offer a large collection of content, now only sells apps and books.
Google posted a message to the Google Play Help Community stating that the Movies & TV section of the Play Store will be closing in May 2022 and that the Google TV app will be the new home for buying movies and TV -Content from Google will be on phones and tablets. The company also sells video content through YouTube, and when it shut down the Google Play Movies & TV app on smart TVs, Google introduced the YouTube app as a replacement for purchased content.
So when you buy video content from Google, use the Google TV or Google Play Movies & TV app to buy content on Android, the Google Play Movies & TV app on iOS, and the YouTube app on third-party smart TVs like Play Roku. “Google TV” isn’t just the name of the phone app and video content store; It’s also the new name of Android TV OS, which you can get on the new Chromecast (it’s also built into some Sony and TCL TVs). On these devices, your purchases are integrated into the operating system. Google Play Movies & TV will be completely dead when Google shuts down the phone apps, and that seems inevitable at this point.
The move is the latest step in Google’s discontinuation of Google Play. The company has yet to officially announce it plans to kill the brand, but a suspicious number of Google Play services are being shut down. Google Play was launched in 2012 as the home for all content from Google. Android apps and games, music, books, movies, TV shows, and magazines could all be purchased in a unified Play Store interface, and a collection of content-playing apps gave users access to each library type. It seems that Google abandoned this idea at some point. Google Play Newsstand closed and merged with Google News in 2018, and Play Music closed in favor of YouTube Music in 2020. Google Play Movies & TV seems to be next on the list. With the removal of Play Store purchases and the app from smart TVs, only the phone app remains.
Apps, games and books remain in the Play Store. Google Play Books doesn’t have an alternate home just yet, but don’t be surprised to hear about one soon.