Google Play is killing movie and TV show purchases — what you need to know

A photo of Google Play movies on a smartphone
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Google has confirmed that it will no longer be selling movies and TV shows via the Google Play app from May (as reported by Ars Technica). 

This doesn’t mean that Google is getting out of the media-selling game, far from it. Instead the ability to purchase movies and TV shows is being moved over to the Google TV app. A statement on the Google Play Help page reads: “On Google TV, you will find the same experience you are used to on Google Play Movies & TV with the latest new releases, rentals, deals, and great recommendations for you.”

The integration should be a fairly seamless one and Google has reassured customers that previous purchases won't be lost in the move. Any currently owned movies and TV shows will be available as normal in the Google TV app, and wishlists will also transfer across. Plus, Play credit and Play gift cards can also be used to make purchases in the Google TV app going forward. 

Ultimately, this is a fairly minor reshuffle by Google. It’ll probably cause some customer confusion for a few weeks before everyone adjusts, but otherwise it should be a relatively painless process. It does perhaps indicate that Google is keen to move away from the Play brand. Although, the flagship Play Store isn’t going anywhere and will still be the place to go for buying and downloading apps, games and books on Android devices. 

This decision to move movies/TV shows purchases to a different storefront mirrors one taken by Apple in recent years. Previously iTunes was Apple’s hub for buying basically all digital content, but the ability to purchase movies/TV shows is now located in the Apple TV app and books can be bought in the Apple Books app.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.