Google announced today that it’s bringing Google Play movies, TV shows and music to its Google TV platform through an update that will allow users to rent or buy content through the included Google Play store on Google TV devices. In addition, purchases users have made on other supported devices will also be available on Google TV following this update (and vice versa).
The new content will be included in the Google Play store’s “TV & Movies” app, which also houses competing offerings from both Amazon and Netflix, as well as content recommendations. While more content is the big news for Google’s consumer install base, which earlier this year was estimated at less than 1 million, the update also brings a number of new features for developers, too. Specifically, developers will now gain access to auto-updates, subscription billing, and smart app updates, the company announced via a blog post this afternoon.
While Google didn’t provide details as to the size of its catalog, it said that it includes “millions” of songs and “thousands” of movie and TV shows. A few months ago, that catalog included 100,000 TV episodes and movies. Google declined to provide exact numbers when asked today, but noted that it was working with all major film studios and indies. The company recently signed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to bring 600+ more titles to its catalog.
It’s been a tough year for Google TV: It didn’t even get a shout-out during Google’s I/O conference this time around, and its hardware partners have been suffering from a lack of sales. Google is not revealing the size of its install base publicly. But needless to say, Google’s optimistic projection from last year – that the majority of TVs sold in stores would have Google TV embedded by this summer – has not come to pass. (For more detailed analysis on Google TV’s fizzle, see: “Google TV Needs To Decide: Platform Or Closed Ecosystem” and “Google’s TV Strategy is Doomed“).
In June, Google announced support for the Google Play store on Google TV, promising movies, music and TV would be “coming soon.” October, apparently, is what it meant by soon? The update is rolling out starting today, and will continue to hit devices over the next few weeks.