The Android Market is dead.
Google has just announced that the Android Market is out, at least in name, replaced by the more wide-reaching Google Play. With the rebranding, Google hopes to showcase that the Android Market has grown beyond the application marketplace the current name entails. They’ve since added Google Books, Google Music, and Movies to the foray, and wanted a way to consolidate those efforts under a single brand name.
Starting today, customers who visit the Android Market website will begin to be redirected to the Google Play store. Those feeling adventurous or simply wanting to check out what Google Play has in store for you can point your browsers to play.google.com to check out the new branding. Though the branding certainly closely mirrors what is currently found on Google’s Android Market web front, the new Google Play focuses on the other services Google features, since most people who visit Google’s web store are likely there to search for music, movies, or books.
One of the bigger criticisms of Google lately has been the notion that Google’s approach to a content ecosystem appears fragmented to the casual observer, a criticism they’ve addressed in a big way with the launch of Google Play. Google obviously hopes that an integrated ecosystem will provide Google the jolt the company needs to see its Movies and Music services become more widely adopted, the former of which Google has openly claimed has not quite lived up to their expectations.
The move to a single integrated Google Play puts Google in better position to compete with iTunes, Apple’s single solution strategy which offers Mac and iOS users a full library of music, movies/TV shows, and application content to be purchased from these devices.
Where this move could really get interesting is with the upcoming Google tablet, which is also widely-rumored to be dubbed the Google Play. Similar to what Apple has done with the iPad and Amazon with the Kindle Fire, if Google markets the Google Play tablet’s ecosystem, it could propel it to become a widely adopted tablet for those individuals who are already heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem. As you probably know, Android is the most used smartphone operating system on the planet, so the potential user based for Google Play is huge.
The Google Play change will occur on the web version of the market today, and will be pushed out to Android smartphones and tablets over the next week or so. As Google’s content is available differently in different countries, Marketing Land put together a list of services that should be available in various regions.
- US: Apps, Movies, Books, Music
- UK & Canada: Apps, Movies, Books
- Australia: Apps & Books
- Japan: Apps & Movies
- Others: Apps
Of course, the Android applications for these services will be getting a makeover, and will now look like this.
If the criticisms about Google’s lack of an integrated strategy were spot on, today’s surprise announcement of Google Play certainly indicates that Google is headed in the right direction. We’re definitely excited to see how this move plays out over the next few months, and what it means for the future of Android, Google, and their competitors.