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

A photo of Google Play movies on a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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 (opens in new tab)). 

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 (opens in new tab) 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

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.