Google Play Adds Movie Purchases And TV Shows

On-demand digital content is big business these days, with entities like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and Amazon Instant Video all competing to have the most tempting deals, the best content, and the biggest catalogue. It was no real surprise when Google leapt into the fray a few months ago with Google Play, a service that expanded the reach of the Android Market by making Google's content available to computer users as well. At launch, Google Play users could only rent when it came to their movie selections. Now, however, the GP store has expanded its catalogue with both TV shows and movie purchases.

Google Play looks to be following the standard model for their TV content, allowing you to purchase either individual episodes or entire seasons. Their prices seem to be more or less in line with the competition. They've got the second season of AMC's The Walking Dead in HD for $34.99, which is a buck more expensive than Amazon's current price, and the same as the iTunes price. On the movie side of things, they've got Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol listing for $3.99 as a rental or $14.99 as a purchase, which is the same rental price as Amazon and two dollars more expensive than Amazon's purchase price. Tech Crunch reports that Google Play is currently partnered with content providers including NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Disney, ABC Studios, and Paramount.

It will be interesting to see if Google pursues a partnership with one or more of the gaming consoles, as adding apps to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 has opened up a broader audience for services like Netflix and Hulu. Sure, it's nice to be able to watch stuff on your computer, but it's even nicer to be able to watch it on your bigscreen TV with no more effort than a couple of button presses. For that matter, how long do you think it will be before Google follows in the footsteps of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon and starts developing its own original content? We live in interesting times, folks...