Google has just announced one of the biggest branding change for Android since its inception. It is re-branding Android Market to Google Play in order to reflect that the Market is not just for apps but also for games, movies, songs and books. Google will be pushing out an update for the Android Market app starting next week to reflect the new brand. With the new branding, Google is attempting to change the image of its digital content repository, hoping users would realize it is not just about apps. But there is a catch. Read on…
The move seems inspired by the likes of Amazon, which has just one store front for all digital content. For the record, Apple has iTunes and the App Store, which are different entities on iOS devices but clubbed under iTunes on the Mac. The catch over here is that Google will continue to offer just apps in most countries across the world with the rest of the content (books, movies and songs) in countries you can count on your fingertips.
In the U.S., music, movies, books and Android apps are available in Google Play. In Canada and the U.K., we’ll offer movies, books and Android apps; in Australia, books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps. Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps. Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we’ll keep adding new content to keep it fresh.
Considering the fact that most markets won’t have access to any of the additional content, it is just going to increase confusion for users – it is not intuitive. Let’s not forget, it is not just Google that talks about Android Market, handset vendors talk about it and advertise it more than Google when they market their wares.
I’m not entirely convinced whether this re-branding was really required as most users are familiar with Android Market. There was a reason why Apple still continues to call iTunes just iTunes even though it offers everything that Google Play (and Android Market) offers. It takes time to build a brand and at the end of the day users do not care what it is called. Google is playing on the notion that everything that’s available on Android Market will be available outside of Android ecosystem but it is doing that nearly four years after Android Market was introduced.
What do you think?