Google Is Killing ‘Play Movies’ On Most Streaming Devices

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The “Google Play Movies & TV” app, which is the main streaming platform for Google’s video on demand store, will be pulled off Samsung TVs, Roku streamers and other devices, around the world – and in the UK. 

Its planned replacement? the YouTube app, which until now served as sort of a “backdoor” for the Google content store on some devices.

Google Play Movies & TV is both the main window to Google’s video content store, and its content library management and watching app.

Google Play on roku

While Google doesn’t have a video subscription service (like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video), it does have a video-on-demand store where you can rent or purchase movies and TV shows.

The app is currently available on most of the major streaming devices in the UK, including Smart TVs from Samsung and LG and the Roku streaming players. It was never available on the Amazon Fire TV sticks, or on Apple TV.

On June 15, 2021, however – the app will be pulled off from all these devices. The surprising announcement from Google came last month, but somehow flew under the radar.

This week, however, messages have started popping up on TVs and streaming devices around the world, and in the UK:

Google Play Movies message on Roku
Google Play on Roku

According to Google, the YouTube app – which is already present on all the devices where Google Play Movies is currently available – will be the place where you will be able to watch content bought from Google.

“Just log in with your Google account in the YouTube app, you’ll have access to all of your past purchases, and will be able to browse, purchase, and rent new content.”

This YouTube “workaround” has always been the only way to watch Google Play Store content on the Amazon Fire TV devices – but, curiously, will now become the only way to interact with the store on streaming devices.

YouTube on a telly

The YouTube route does come with a few caveats:

  • If you buy movies/shows directly through the YouTube app, they will NOT be compatible with Family Sharing, so will only be watchable on the original account that bought it. If, however, you purchase the content via the web (or mobile) version of the Google Play Store – it will still support Family Sharing, AND will be viewable on YouTube.
  • Your Google Play Store Watchlist will not be available on YouTube. (But you can set YouTube playlists)

This change will be particularly awkward for Roku devices sold in the UK – since they have a “Google Play” shortcut button on their remotes.

We’re told by Roku that going forward, the remote shortcut button will lead to an on-screen message that allows users to find other VOD stores, plus a link to YouTube so users can find their previously purchased Google Play library.

Where Can I Still Find The Google Play Movies Apps?

After June 15, the Google Play Movies & TV app will only be available on:

  • Mobile phones – both iOS and Android
  • The new Google Chromecast with Google TV streaming dongle
New Chromecast with Google TV
Chromecast with Google TV
  • Smart TVs with the Google TV OS (Not Android TV – it has to be the new Google TV system)

On all other devices – you will have to start using the YouTube app.

1 thought on “Google Is Killing ‘Play Movies’ On Most Streaming Devices”

  1. Would be a good time for international Movies Anywhere!

    Google missed a opportunity of Apple Do so Follow – shouldn’t bother providing VOD at all after June – make it Play/Android only and follow the Apple TV+ app example available (tv+ Subscription and purchased already – iTunes or via Apple Devices prerequisite!


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