The movie rental business Google is trying to build hasn't been doing great
Google Music hasn't been much of a success, despite the Android tie-in, and Google movie rentals have been less so. But Google is unmoved, it may even be more determined than ever as it grouped all of its media and entertainment products under one label, Google Play.But Google, much to its dislike, is finding that the media world is one of constant compromise and it's getting ready to do yet another one in, yet another effort to please the entertainment corporations, in this case movie studios.
Google is working on introducing movie sales to its existing rental business. Given that rentals aren't going great for Google, not that they're going great for anyone else, sales are probably going to fare even worse.
But movies studios will have none of that, in their world, selling a movie over and over again to a customer, at the movie theaters, on DVD, on cable, online and so on, is much better than renting it to them or, even worse, offering them for a fixed monthly fee.
Well, in any world that would be better if it worked. But people don't buy the same stuff over and over again and don't wait for the movie studios to allow them to pay for stuff.
Google has learned, just like anyone else trying to sell media online, that there's no reasoning with movie studios, recording labels and so on. So it's probably going to start selling movies, the word is that it will be this summer. Whether anyone will buy them remains to be seen.
The Android Market, now Google Play, is huge and this is what entices movie studios along with everyone else. But so far, people have proven unwilling to buy movies for their mobile devices. It's not just Google's problem either, Apple, Amazon and everyone else are seeing the same.