Thursday, September 7, 2023

Goodbye Google Play Movies & TV

Google is, once again, removing services. This time it's Google Play Movies & TV.

This week, I got an email from Google about this. It gave a bunch of details, but the wording could be confusing to some. I had to read it a couple of times, but I got it. I think I got it.

Based on comments I've seen online, this has caused confusion for some people. Here's the email:

Google Play Movies & TV app is going away on 05 October 2023

Google Play Movies & TV app will no longer be available on your Android TV device from 05 October 2023. You can continue to buy or rent movies directly through the Shop tab on your Android TV.

You can find your existing purchases, including active rentals, on the Shop tab on Android TV, Google TV Android and iOS mobile apps, and YouTube.

Please visit Google TV Help center or Youtube Help Center if you need help accessing your previous purchases.

Some seem to think that Google TV is being shut down. It's not. The functionality appears to be splitting among a couple of apps and services.

Google Play Movies & TV was a place to both purchase and play content from the Google Play store. The purchase portion is inside the Shop tab on the Google TV app. But what if you don't have the Google TV app? Well, there's also the YouTube app. I don't see a way to get your purchases if you don't have the Google TV app, or the YouTube app, or a Google/Android TV device.

If you have a Roku platform device (streaming stick, Roku TV, Roku set top box, etc.) you actually lost the Google Play Movies & TV app a couple of years ago. You needed YouTube to watch your Google Play purchases, so nothing Google is about to do will impact Roku users. They got impacted in 2021.

I'm not sure that this will impact me. My Streaming Life uses content purchased from Google, but I watch it on YouTube, or on a Google TV device. If you're worried about this, I think you don't really need to be. Fire TV and Apple TV both support YouTube, and if those are your platforms, you still have ways to play your content.

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