TV shows are now available in the Google Play store for consumers in the United Kingdom, making it the first region to receive such functionality outside of the United States.
Episodes are being sold individually at £1.89 for standard definition and £2.49 for high-definition, along with varying price tags for a full season.
Google has a decent range of titles on offer, with a healthy mix of popular BBC franchises – Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear being the most notable – and US imports such as House of Cards, The West Wing and Pretty Little Liars.
The library isn’t particularly deep though. After perusing the catalog for more than ten minutes it’s pretty clear that the breadth of TV shows is pretty limited. Top quality shows are all well and good, but lacking a critical mass of content will only hurt Google’s efforts.
Given the recent launch of Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet and its beautifully simplistic Chromecast dongle for streaming to a traditional TV, the introduction of TV show downloads couldn’t be timed better. Both devices are yet to hit UK shores, so it’s understandable that Google wants to improve its various content services in advance.
Google has some tough competition in iTunes and emerging services such as Vdio, but the emergence of the now wide-reaching Google Play brand and its presence on almost all Android devices means that the company has a fair shot of making an impact in the UK.
The problem, as with on-demand streaming services such as Netflix and LoveFilm, will be quickly gaining the rights to a significant amount of content. Without it, the service is a rather hollow proposition.
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