Google Play Movies & TV to shutter in January in favor of Google TV

Google TV app home page
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Google Play Movies & TV app has not worked on certain platforms since October, instead redirecting to the Google TV app.
  • Google has officially announced the Google Play Movies & TV app will stop working over the next few weeks. 
  • People who purchased media in Google Play Movies & TV can either find it in the Google TV app or on YouTube instead. 

As companies continue the shift to streaming, some apps and services get lost and forgotten in the process. First we saw iTunes and Google Play Music become shells of their former selves, with the latter being officially discontinued a few years ago. Now, Google has announced that the Google Play Movies & TV platform will share the same fate. It's being retired in favor of Google TV, the new media hub unveiled in 2020. 

Google revealed the changes in a blog post last week, detailing the transition from Google Play Movies & TV to Google TV. Though the move was just officially announced, the writing has been on the wall for a while. Google has removed traces to Google Play Movies & TV from just about everywhere, including on Android TV in October (via 9to5Google).

Over the next few weeks, the Google Play Movies & TV app and web client will become unavailable. Google says that these changes will roll out (i.e., the app will disappear) based on location and country. The company has set an official transition date of Jan. 17, 2024, which is presumably when Google Play Movies & TV will be gone forever. 

Google TV has been the way to access purchased movies and TV for a while on iOS and Android, so that isn't changing. However, the Google TV app will now become the only way to access this content on Android TV devices. For those unfamiliar, Android TV is the operating system that powers some streaming sticks, streaming boxes, and smart TVs and is the underlying OS for Google TV. The Shop tab in Google TV will now become the home for content previously found on Google Play Movies & TV. 

Meanwhile, if you want to watch your owned media on the web, the new home for that will be YouTube. That kind of makes sense, since you can already buy and rent movies and shows straight from YouTube today. Google says that cable boxes or set-top boxes running Android TV will also replace Google Play Movies & TV with YouTube.

Although it can be frustrating for Google to switch up apps and service seemingly all the time, at least users are still holding onto their owned digital content. That isn't a guarantee these days, as more than 1,200 titles will be yanked from the PlayStation Store at the end of this month, with no recourse. It's all a reminder that we don't really own anything purchased digitally. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.