Google Play Movies: changes ahead for digital movie purchases

Google Play Movies
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Owners of certain televisions and Roku devices will now have to watch their Google-purchases movies through YouTube instead.

Google has announced upcoming changes to its Google Play Movies and TV app, in the latest example of alterations hitting digital film and TV show purchases.

At the moment, those who have bought films and TV shows via Google can watch them via the dedicated Google Play Movies and TV app, that’s available on Roku boxes, and smart TVs from the likes of Samsung and LG. However, the firm has now announced that the app will no longer be available on those platforms as of June 15th of this year (although it should still be available for tablets and phones for now), as it intends to migrate people over to YouTube instead.

Appreciating it can be a bit of a pain to watch movies via YouTube (and for parents, the parental controls aren’t as strong on YouTube as they are on the dedicated Google Play app), that’s where Google film and TV purchases will now be available. The Play Family Library option is changing slightly though. That whilst previous Google Play Movies purchases will still support family sharing on the YouTube platform, any future film and TV purchases made on YouTube will not support this.

The Google Play website and existing app will continue to support family sharing, but any watchlist you previously had will no longer be available.

From what we can gleam, the Google Play app will still be available on other platforms. But if the ultimate strategy from Google is to eventually migrate us all to YouTube to watch movies we’ve purchases via the firm, then who knows for how long.

For those of us in the UK who got our digital movies via Flixster – remember them? – then this will be the third service in three years we’ve had to use to watch said movies. That’s the downside of movies bought digitally: you’re at the whims of the company that sold them to you, no matter how big said firm is.

Here’s Google’s official announcement of its changes. More as we hear it.

Image: BigStock

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