Google matching Apple by lowering prices for some UHD movies to $19.99

Alongside the announcement of the Apple TV 4K, Apple revealed that it would be upgrading its customers' HD digital movie purchases from iTunes to UHD quality at no additional cost. This is something that's been missing from Google Play Movies & TV for quite some time, but it looks like that's starting to change.

You've been able to be purchase UHD movies on Google Play for a while now, but they've always featured a considerably higher cost of $29.99 compared to the $19.99 price for most HD titles. However, if you take a quick look through Google Play Movies & TV's current catalog of feature films, you'll see that some changes are being made.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (opens in new tab) is one of the first titles to pop up when opening the Google Play Movies app, and when tapping on it to view the available purchase options, you'll see that you only have two available — The SD version for $14.99 and the UHD variant for $19.99. In another example, the amazing Baby Driver (opens in new tab) can be purchased in HD for $14.99 and UHD for $19.99.

This is undoubtedly a big step in the right direction, but these changes aren't appearing all across the board. Titles like Wonder Woman (opens in new tab) and Transformers: The Last Knight (opens in new tab) still cost $29.99 for their UHD versions, and from what we can tell, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the changes that have been made so far — though it could come down to a per-studio deal.

Cheaper UHD titles are something you won't ever hear me complaining about, but this is only half of the battle for Google. For folks that have already built up extensive digital libraries, having that content upgraded to the highest available quality possible is still essential — especially if people can now purchase those same titles at the same price but in a higher resolution.

The state of 4K content across Google

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • So they seemingly couldn't get the new pricing applied retroactively to already existing titles. It'll be interesting to see if that changes. If not, then that proves that they couldn't get the same deal as Apple. That would make me unhappy as a consumer.
  • Now, if they would let you upgrade a currently owned HD title for a small up charge, we would be golden... I know that I have allot of titles that I wouldn't jump for an UHD version out right.... But I would certainly upgrade them, if I had the chance a just a small up charge.
  • Shouldn't be an upcharge for going to UHD from your previously purchased movies. Apple is doing it, so really if Google wants to compete, they need to do the same.
  • Still no 4K movies on Google Play outside of the US. Google sure knows how to let its competitors get an advantage.