Google Play – The New Android Market

Google Play - Android MarketToday Google announced (in several places) that the Android Market is being rebranded “Google Play

The new marketplace (sorry, “play store”) includes content from four main areas – Movies, Music, Apps & Games, and Books. Of course, not all of these are available outside of the US yet, so folks in Australia will only get access to Apps & Games and Books for now.

Google seems to be investing a lot into consolidating their services, which I think is a good thing. I’m a little disappointed though with the name they chose (“Play” doesn’t sound quite serious enough, is difficult to use as a noun – not a verb, and reminds me of the Playbook too…)

All things considered however, this is a step in the right direction for Android developers, and in fact all content creators. Google now has one spot to sell your content, and it’s very obviously Google branded (and more or less separate from the core Android product).

That’s a key point in itself. Previously Google’s Movies and Ebook offerings were confusingly branded under the Android banner. With the introducing of Google Play, the focus is on selling entertainment content – not just for Android, but for any web-enabled platform. This positions Google as much more of a competitor to iTunes, with its unified content purchasing platform.

Android developers need not be concerned about the new changes impacting sales. Google’s set up a seamless transition to the new store, so you shouldn’t notice any major impact on your download figures. For example, Micro CPU Monitor on the Android Market automatically redirects to Micro CPU Monitor on Google Play. “Plus Ones” from Google+ and the Market on Android devices seem to automatically transfer as well, which is significant.

Google Play Store Screenshot
The Google Play Store looks very similar to the Android Market

What do you think about Google Play? Was the rebranding necessary? Will it benefit you as a developer? What about consumers? Share your thoughts in the comments.