When Google’s Android Market launched three and a half years ago, it was a standalone app store that did not sell e-books, music, or videos. However, over the past year, the Android Market has grown into much more than an app store – they are now a major provider of digital content. As a result, Google has decided to change the name from Android Market to Google Play.
The change, which is primarily a branding move, will not substantially alter the functionalities or features that were available in the Android Market. Instead, Google Play repackages the Android app store, Google Music, and the Google eBookstore into one cloud-based “digital entertainment destination.”
The promotional video on the newly launched Google Play website emphasizes the cloud-based nature of Google Play. Similar to Apple’s iCloud, Google Play users can watch, listen to, or read content on one device and seamlessly pick up where they left off on a separate device.
Jamie Rosenberg, Google’s Director of Digital Content, said the following on the company blog:
“Starting today, Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore will become part of Google Play. On your Android phone or tablet, we’ll be upgrading the Android Market app to the Google Play Store app over the coming days. Your videos, books and music apps (in countries where they are available) will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps. The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always.”
Rosenberg’s post also highlighted the content and features that Google Play offers users. Google Play users will be able to use the service to download 450,000 Android apps, store 20,000 songs, browse e-books, and rent movies. In addition, Google made it clear that digital content purchased through Google’s earlier services will be compatible with Google Play.
To celebrate the rebranding, Google Play is offering users promotional pricing on a different album, book, video rental and Android app each day.