Google announced yesterday that ‘Google Play’ is the permanent replacement for the Android Market. This single, unified distribution channel for movies, books, music and apps rolls up all of Google’s media marketplaces in to one location.
Perhaps most notably, Google Play will replace the Android Market as a discovery, sales and distribution channel for Android apps. The company says the combination of the different marketplaces will make it easier for Android users to access different types of content across their devices, through Google’s cloud-based service.
It’s pretty clear that Google’s strategy with this rebranding effort is to makes its content business a distinct entity, as opposed to a bloated limb of its mobile operating system. It makes sense. Apple is doing it. Microsoft is doing it. Our world is quickly getting appified - more and more we consume byte-size (pun very much intended and highly inaccurate) morsels of content, as opposed to grazing in all you can eat monthly fee buffets (admittedly, I still subscribe to Netflix streaming). We’re spawning the world’s first “$0.99 millionaires.”
Easy-to-use “1-click” (please don’t sue me, Amazon) payment solutions and high-speed broadband internet have turned us all into micro-impulse buyers. $0.99 here and there for an app, game, or that one song you just remembered and really want to listen to right now because you haven’t heard it in years. Maybe a few bucks for a movie rental a couple times a month at RedBox orAmazon Instant Video and, if you’re feeling splurgy, that new game that costs $5 but gets so many 5-star reviews you can’t help yourself any longer.
So, why limit that paradigm shift to digital content commerce to the mobile space, or more specifically, Android? Google wants you to make these itty-bitty purchases from your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, TV, and probably eventually your refrigerator. And they want you to be able to do it regardless of the fact that you own a Windows fridge or an iOS car. Google Play wants to be your one-stop, multi-platform content shop.
The Android Market name just didn’t allow for this kind of vision, and I think you can see why, now – Android is just one facet of Google’s larger world domination strategy (of smiles, of course).