An update to Google search rolling out to mobile users is putting a greater emphasis on music and media, including recommendations on songs, TV shows, movies, and more. Now, when searching for things like singers, actors, films and other related items, Google will return enhanced results that provide information like lyrics, covers, or song recommendations for music searches, as well as details on past and current TV episodes, information about the cast, movie showtimes and other items.
To some extent, Google was already offering this information in Google Search previously. For example, it introduced song lyrics around a year ago, pointing web searchers to lyrics from Google Play that appeared as cards just above Google’s search results, reducing traffic to lyrics websites in the process.
Plus, Google’s “Knowledge Graph” – an enhancement to the search engine which provides direct answers to queries by understanding the content found in web pages – has been featuring information about TV shows and movies for some time, including things like showtimes, and even critics’ reviews, announced earlier this summer.
However, with the update, this information has more structure. For instance, a search for a particular singer takes you to a new interface where you can tap your way through tabs that offer you an overview of their work, as well as tabs that list their songs, albums, and upcoming events. You can even listen to their music via services like YouTube, Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio – which had also been supported before via Google Search results.
A similar experience is available for actors, film and TV content, which puts Google search in more direct competition with services like Amazon’s IMDb. When introducing the update via its blog post, Google even suggests you could use this feature for the same reason that users would otherwise turn to a site like IMDb, saying: “maybe you’re watching a TV show and can’t remember where you’ve seen that actor before?”
What’s interesting about the update, too, is that Google will also show what’s related to the item in question by showing you other things people have searched for as part of its recommendation system. It’s also pointing searchers to suggestions about what to watch next, and movie showtimes through this interface.
The update is currently available only to mobile users on Android phones and tablets, but Google says it will arrive for iOS users in the near future.