Google is promoting Android streaming-media apps from partners — including HBO, Amazon, Hulu, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — by providing links to them from listings for TV shows and movies from the Google Play Movies & TV app.
Notably absent, for now, is Netflix. Google says it’s in talks with the leading subscription VOD service about a partnership.
Until now, the Google Play Movies & TV app has been a way for users to sync and watch titles they have rented or purchased from the Google Play store.
Now, the app will provide info and links to 28 partner streaming services, displaying them when movies and TV shows are available alongside their availability via Google Play. For example, a search for “This Is Us” will show that the current season available for purchase on Google Play Movies & TV, and also that it’s available to stream on Hulu and the NBC app (with a pay-TV subscription).
Streaming and TV Everywhere apps that will appear in the Play Movies & TV app (and on the Google Play website) include ABC, CBS, Fox Now, NBC, Hulu, HBO Now and HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Now, HGTV, BET Now and Comedy Central.
The new features will be rolling out to Android devices in the U.S. over the next week.
“What we’ve found is that people feel that it’s complicated to keep track of what’s available where,” said Ben Serridge, lead product manager for Google Play Movies & TV. “We think this will go a long way toward helping people find what they want.”
There’s no money changing hands between Google and the partner streaming services. The goal is to drive users to the media partners’ apps. “Besides being good for users, on Google Play we view our mission as helping app developers be successful on Google Play and Android,” Serridge said.
For now, Google doesn’t have plans to introduce an iOS version of the Google Play Movies & TV app that links out to the third-party streaming services.
The updated version of the Android app has a few other new features:
- Browsing of shows and movies on Google Play by genre or attribute — e.g. “comedy,” “family movies,” “highly rated” — to find titles to stream free, rent or buy;
- Thumbs up/thumbs down ratings for movies and TV shows, to help the app make recommendations; and
- A new Watchlist tab to bookmark shows and movies to watch later, which will show users when titles becomes available to buy or rent on Google Play, if the price has recently dropped, or if it is now available to stream on a third-party service.
Here’s a mockup of what the new Google Play Movies & TV app looks like in action:
The full list of 28 partner streaming services participating in the Google Play Movies & TV app: A&E, ABC, Amazon Prime Video, BET Now, CBS, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Crackle, Disney Now, DIY Network, Food Network, Fox Now, HBO Go, HBO Now, HGTV, History, Hulu, Lifetime, Max Go, MTV, NBC, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, Starz, The CW, Travel Channel, Tubi TV, and VH1.