Pietermaritzburg - If you’re downloading apps for your Android device all the time, you would have noticed an all new-look Google Play Store, with a new entertainment section, but what’s in it is even more surprising.
First there were Books, then came the Music but just recently Google launched Play Movies in South Africa.
Play Movies is the tech company’s answer to movie-renting services already available online, making the traditional video renting store even more obsolete.
The Google Play Movies allow South Africans to rent or even purchase films, watchable on their smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs.
Titles available include the latest Hollywood blockbusters and even a few old-time favourites. Locally produced films are yet to have their place in the store, but Google South Africa is working on it.
Movies are available for rent from R19.99 and when rented the user has 30 days to watch most of them.
More recently released movies are priced slightly higher with some prices hovering around the R34.99 mark. Films on the store are categorised in a variety of genres, including Comedy, under the Laugh Out Loud section,Thrillers, Horrors, Sci-Fi, Action and Adventure.
If you don’t already know how to find this, open your Google Play app on your device, access the “Entertainment” section and then the “Movies” section.
Google Play Movies are nothing new. DStv’s BoxOffice has been offering users and subscribers an opportunity to bypass the video store and watch the latest titles from a PVR decoder or online, with a range of titles available.
With a wide range of 12 genres available, BoxOffice rentals are priced roughly the same at around R35 for the latest titles.
But while Android users may have just found movie utopia, iOS users are wearing their “Been There. Done that” T-shirts proudly.
For years, the iTunes Store has been offering their iPhone, iPad and Mac users the opportunity to watch movies from the store.
The only difference between the Google Play Movies, BoxOffice and iTunes movies is that iTunes movies are available for a higher price per title of around R44,99 per latest movie.
But Apple users are used to paying more for everything — right?
Online options for South African film-lovers are endless, and the only losers may be the physical video rental stores.
The once flourishing industry, like many others, has now been killed by the Internet. Numerous video rental stores have either down-sized or closed. Everyone knows a video store close to their home that has fallen victim. If video killed the radio star, maybe the Internet sought revenge for the radio star?