On June 15, 2021, the Google Play Movies and TV app for Roku, LG, Samsung, and Vizio smart TVs will shut down. In order to access content previously purchased through the app, users will need to navigate to the ‘Purchased’ section of Youtube instead. I noticed last week that these purchases were also available directly through Youtube TV as well, but I didn’t think much of it until now.
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.”Contents of an email sent out to The Verge
At this time, Google Play Movies and TV will continue to operate via the web and Android TV set-top boxes, but likely only until the company shifts the last of its branding for the service over to the newly minted Google TV instead. Youtube becoming the alternative location to access all of this content makes me think that it’s Google’s intention to merge Youtube and Google TV at some point. It may be years from now, maybe even a decade, but it does seem to be playing the long game when it comes to its streaming services. I believe that the end game is unity across the board (even though Google isn’t particularly known for that!)
In the meantime, Google has stated that purchases made via Youtube will not be eligible for family sharing, and your Play Movies and TV watchlist that was curated via your television will not viewable on Youtube. These two things alone make it almost entirely pointless to purchase anything via Youtube, in my opinion. You can, however, still use your Play Store credits to buy content on Youtube, but I would recommend you simply look forward to the Google TV app which is likely on its way for your TV if it hasn’t already arrived. You can buy and watch content entirely through it, and your Play Movies and TV watchlist is preserved via the new app as well.
The fact that this feels like a stepping stone toward the eventual complete transition of all users and content to the Google TV app makes me think that Google is having some difficulty rolling out the new service in cooperation with these hardware manufacturers. Developing the app around the manufacturer’s inbuilt software can be tricky, but I still don’t understand why Google chooses so often to change things and leap before things are ready. This reminds me of the fact that to this day, the company has still yet to roll out the official Stadia app on its own Chromecast with Google TV hardware – How that could even happen at all just seems completely ridiculous to me.