The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Google moving movie, TV show purchases to YouTube app

(Logo: YouTube/Google, Background image: Pexels, Graphic: The Desk)

Google is ending its support for the Play Movies & TV app on some smart TV devices and will push users toward YouTube, a company spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

In an announcement posted to the Google Play Help website, a Google product manager said the company would remove its Play Movies & TV app on Roku, Samsung, LG and Vizio streaming TV devices, including smart TVs, in mid-June.

Google says all purchases made through the Play Movies & TV app on affected devices will automatically and permanently move to YouTube starting June 15.

Google made the Play Movies & TV app on a handful of streaming TV devices several years ago as a way for users of those devices to rent or purchase movies and TV shows from the Google Play catalog. A little-known secret is that all of those purchases made were also available on YouTube, a video streaming service owned by YouTube.

The loophole allowed customers to purchase or rent movies and TV shows through Google, then stream them on the YouTube app for Apple TV and other devices where Google Play isn’t officially supported.

The change suggests Google will soon roll out features specific to movies and TV shows on YouTube, including the ability to purchase items directly from the YouTube app, a feature that has been missing on some smart TV devices.

Google says items that were purchased through the Play Movies & TV app will no longer be linked to a user’s family share account right away when the items move over to YouTube, though this feature could also come at a later time.

The company says it will send affected users a one-time $6 credit by e-mail to use toward the purchase or rental of a movie, TV show or TV series as a courtesy for the switch from Google Play Movies & TV. The code must be used by October 5, Google said.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).