Google has launched a video-on-demand service in South Africa through its Google Play platform. The service, which is now live, allows South Africans to rent or purchase movies for watching on their phones, tablets, computers and smart TVs. Full-length movies are available from all the major Hollywood studios.
The launch of Google Play Movies comes two months after the US Internet giant launched its music streaming service, Google Play Music, in the country, offering access to 35 million songs, including a large catalogue of South African music, for ZAR 59.99(US$3.90) per month. Google Play Movies allows consumers to rent or download a wide range of titles. Rentals typically appear to be between ZAR 11.99(US$ 0.78) for older titles and ZAR 34.99(US$ 2.27) for the latest blockbusters. Outright purchases of the latest titles fetch up to ZAR 149.99(US$ 9.75) for purchases, with older titles going for as little as ZAR 39.99(US$ 2.60).
On the other hand, television shows are still not available through Google Play in South Africa. According to Google, TV series are only available to users in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US. However, Google Play Movies is now available in a wide range of countries, including many in Africa.
The African countries that can access Google Play Movies are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.