Google Consolidates Digital Marketplace with Google Play

By Chris Freeburn March 06, 2012

Say goodbye to the Android Market. This Tuesday, the former venue for buying Android applications will become the Google Play Store, the Associated Press reported. Joining the former Android Market will be Google’s eBookstore and recently debuted music service. eBooks and music are currently for sale on the Android Market.

The new name marks the end of a process of change that sought to unify and rebrand Google’s digital offerings. In addition to the new name, the Android Market has been altered to make navigation and content management simpler for users. User’s content libraries and passwords will not be affected by the changes, the AP said.

Google hopes that the rebranding will make it easier for users to purchase media content on different devices – tablets, smartphones and desktops – from a single online destination. It’s part of a strategy to increase digital content sales and diversify the company’s revenue base.

The online giant is trying to establish a one-stop shop that can satisfy everyone's digital desires, whether they are on a mobile device or a desktop computer's Web browser. The effort is part of the Internet search leader's broader ambition to diversify beyond online advertising, which still accounts for 96 percent of its revenue. The company is also hoping that the rebranding and site improvements will prompt users who went to Android Market to purchase apps to see the music, ebooks and movies available and buy some digital content as well, the AP noted.

In addition to attracting customers, Google wants to attract content providers like music companies and movie studios to sell content at Google Play. The company only started music sales late last year and has still failed to lure Warner Music Group titles to its marketplace. The other three major labels – Universal, EMI and Sony – already sell music titles through Google.

The number of potential consumers is staggering: there are more than 300 million Android devices in use around the world and six million more get activated every week. The Android Market has offers more than 450,000 mobile apps, four million books, and in excess of 13 million songs and movies. Still, Google is all-too- aware that Android Market remained in its major competitor’s digital shadow.

Apple launched iTunes back in 2003, five years before Google created Android Market. Driven by iPhone and iPad sales, iTunes has become a major retailer of movies, books, newspapers, magazines and textbooks. More than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from iTunes, twice the number from Android Market. Google would like to replicate Apple’s success, and it looks to draw customers who wish to avoid having content constraint only to Apple devices, the AP said.

Competition exists beyond Apple, however. boosted its digital content sales since the roll out of its Kindle Fire in November. The low-priced Kindle is positioned as digital sales tool, meant to persuade users to purchase media content from Amazon.

Come Tuesday, Android device owners will receive automatic updates putting Google Play one their devices.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

TechZone360 Web Editor

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