Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Google rebrands its Android Market as Google Play

The Android Market is dead. Don't get worried, Android fans: it's become Google Play.

The rebranding is being done because the Android Market, we're sure you have realized, is no longer just about Android apps. It also includes music, movie and books, at least in parts of the world.

Google wants to make sure everyone is aware of that. Thus, over the next few days, Google will upgrade its Android Market app to Google Play, and Google Play Music, Google Play Books, and Google Play Movies will replace Google's music, books, and movie storefronts.

Of course, certain restrictions mean that will be the way it is in the U.S., not necessarily anywhere else. In Canada and the U.K., Google said it will offer movies, books and Android apps; in Japan, movies and apps; and in Australia, books and apps. The rest of the world will see Google Play will be the new home for just Android apps.

Naturally Google said it will work to expand its offerings in different parts of the world. As you might expect, Google isn't making this sort of change without a promotion:

"To celebrate, we’ll be offering a different album, book, video rental and Android app at a special price each day for the next week in our '7 Days to Play' sale. In the U.S., today’s titles include the collection of top 40 hits Now That's What I Call Music 41, the popular game Where's My Water, the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and the movie Puncture for just 25 cents each. In addition, you'll find great collections of hip-hop, rock and country albums for $3.99 all week, detective novels from $2.99, some of our editorial team's favorite movies from 99 cents, and our favorite apps from 49 cents."

A number of those 49 cent apps were already sold during Google's 10 cent app sale last December, to celebrate its 10 billionth app download.

To summarize, here's what's happening:
  • Android Market = Play Store
  • Google Music = Play Music
  • Video App = Play Movies
  • Google Books = Play Books
The change is a smart "play" considering this is no longer just about Android, and setting those sub-stores in the Android Market really didn't make sense.

It's not, however, as though Google Music and Google Books, excuse us, Play Music and Play Books are resonating all that much with consumers, as the market leaders remain iTunes and Amazon.com for digital music and e-books, respectively.

We'll see how confused less tech-savvy consumers get in the near future as the changes roll out.


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