Google is removing its Google Play Movies digital store from some of the most popular telly platforms on the planet, including Samsung’s range of Smart TVs, all Roku-powered TVs and set-top boxes, as well as sets from the likes of LG, Vizio, and more. Anyone hoping to rent or buy new Hollywood blockbusters or boxsets of binge-worthy telly will need to act fast as the service is due to completely disappear from July 15, 2021.
If you already have a substantial collection of films and shows purchases from Google Play Movies, you will still be able to access these titles. Google will allow viewers to watch previously-purchased content within the YouTube app – as long as you sign-in with the same Google Account. Buried within the YouTube app, under the Library tab, you’ll find a sub-menu called “Your Movies and Shows,” which includes all purchases and rentals from the Play Store’s movie shelves.
While the YouTube app is a pretty good workaround and means you’ll be able to continue watching movies that you’ve paid for, it doesn’t include support for Family Sharing. So, anyone who has linked their Google Account with yours will be blocked from watching purchases you’ve made for the family – something that was possible with the dedicated Play Movies app.
Beginning July 15, you’ll no longer be able to buy any new films or shows to add to this collection using your Samsung TV, Roku streaming set-top box, or others.
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Older LG TVs, powered by LG NetCast and LG SimpleSmart, won’t be able to use the YouTube workaround to access Google Play Movies purchases. If you have one of these models, you’ll need to buy a Chromecast with Google TV, Fire TV or another device to keep watching these purchases or lose them entirely.
Bafflingly, the decision to withdraw from these platforms is not because Google is shutting down its Play Movies service.
No, anyone with an Android smartphone or tablet, or a Chromecast with Google TV plugged into their telly will be able to use the digital storefront to buy new releases, pick-up boxsets on offer and rent must-see films. Apple TV will also continue to be supported by the Google team too.
Instead, Google is withdrawing from Roku, Samsung, LG, and Vizio Smart TVs only.
In a notice displayed on these four platforms, the Mountain View-based company has announced: “Starting June 15, 2021, the YouTube app will be your new home for movies and shows on Roku, Samsung, LG, and Vizio smart TVs.¹ The Google Play Movies & TV app will no longer be available on these devices. To access all of your previous purchases, log into the YouTube app using the account you use on Google Play Movies & TV, navigate to the ‘Library’ tab, and click on ‘Your movies and shows’.”
To compensate those who have invested time and money replacing their DVD or Blu-Ray collection with digital titles from the Google Play Store, Google is offering some customers a promo code for one free movie. Those who are eligible for the promo code will be emailed separated by Google.