Google brings movies to your mobile

Johannesburg – Google South Africa is making movie watching available at the palm of your hand through a new initiative that allows a user to watch the movie from an Android phone or tablet.

The Silicon Valley-based giant said yesterday that people could download movies on their cellphones for only R19.99.

Google SA communications and public affairs head, Mich Atagana, said the service would allow users to either purchase or rent the movie.

“Our goal with Google Play is to bring together all your favourite content in one place that you can access across your devices,” Atagana said.

Google’s venture into the rental space comes in the wake of mushrooming services such as Netflix, a global provider of streaming movies and TV series.

Google’s service will allow South Africans to rent or buy full-length movies from major Hollywood studios directly to their smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs for online and offline viewing.

Atagana said rented movies would come out with an expiry date, while the user would be able to own the ones they had purchased.

“Once the movie is rented, you will have 30 days to watch most movies and 48 hours to finish watching once you have hit the ‘play’ button,” he said.

Google Play Movies will feature new releases and classics. Local movies would not be immediately available, but Google SA said it hoped to make these available soon.

Other African countries that will now have access to Google Play Movies include Angola, Botswana, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Atagana said Google was taking advantage of the digital space to make it easy for consumers to watch any movie they wanted without venturing to the cinema.

“Digital content is fundamental to the mobile experience, so bringing all of this content together in one place for users makes the Android platform even more compelling,” Atagana said. “But Google Play is not just for Android.”