Google revealed this week that it will replace its Play Movies & TV app on LG, Samsung, and Vizio Smart TVs with the YouTube app.
“Starting June 15, 2021, the YouTube app will be your new home for movies and shows on Roku, Samsung, LG, and Vizio smart TVs,” Google says. “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’.”
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Google has been working to replace Play Movies & TV with Google TV on mobile and on its Android TV platform, but it appears that it won’t be offering this new app on smart TVs, at least for now. The purpose of the old app, at least on smart TVs, is to provide customers with a way to access their libraries of purchased content and to let them buy new content and rent movies. Only the former capability is available in YouTube, and long has been, but users have plenty of options for renting movies.
And Play Movies & TV is still available on iPhone and Apple TV for some reason. On those platforms, the app is truly constrained because customers can’t use them to buy/rent content because of Apple’s anticompetitive business practices, so just using YouTube instead makes sense there as well.