More than two years after the launch of Google TV, the platform will get its own built-in store for movies, TV shows, and music from Google Play.
The update for Google Play will roll out over the next few weeks, and will allow users to buy or rent content directly from their Google TV devices. The TV & Movies app, which recommends content from live television and online sources, also will be updated to include videos from Google Play.
For developers, the update for Google Play enables subscription billing, auto-updates, and smart-app updates.
Google added the ability to watch movie rentals from its own store in June, but users still had to make their purchases through the Web browser or on another device. Users have also been able to watch YouTube rentals since June, and could always purchase and watch Amazon Instant Video through Google TV. However, none of those solutions work as well as having a built-in app for purchasing new content.
Google TV hasn’t seen much success since the first devices launched in October 2010, but Google is hoping to make inroads with cheaper set-top boxes, such as Vizio’s $100 Co-Star.
Still, the company faces tough competition from companies such as Roku and Netgear, whose streaming video boxes are even less expensive, as well as from game consoles and Apple TV. The addition of movies, TV, and music to Google Play won’t be enough to make Google TV a hit, but at least it fixes a glaring hole in the platform.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.