Google is unifying its digital entertainment offerings into a single cloud-based destination called Google Play. Starting today, Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore will become part of this new online emporium.
Google’s Director of Digital Content Jamie Rosenberg announced Google Play in a blog post. At play.google.com, you’ll be able to store all the music, movies, books and apps you’ve previously bought through what had been separate Google stores, or visit the site to fetch new content. Google Play will be available on the Web and on Android smartphones and tablets.
“Entertainment is supposed to be fun. But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite — moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires…lots of wires. Today we’re eliminating all that hassle,” Rosenberg wrote in the post.
Inside Google Play, you can store up to 20,000 music tracks or purchase new songs from a catalog now north of 8 million tracks. Google Play also has more than 450,000 Android apps and games available for download, and more than 4 million eBooks, which Google claims is the largest eBooks collection anywhere. You can also rent thousands of movies.
Google says the Android Market app on Android phones and tablets, as well as apps for music, books and videos will be updated over the next few days to Google Play Store, Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies apps. Google will push the update directly to most devices though in some instances the update will come from your carrier or handset manufacturer.
“The important point to emphasize is that none of this obviously impacts the content that users own, the libraries they have,” Rosenberg said in an interview. Folks merely log in with their Google account credentials as usual.
To get the word out Google will be offering a different album, book, video rental and Android app at a special price each day for the next week. The initial titles in this “7 Days to Play” sale in the U.S. include the collection of top 40 hits Now That’s What I Call Music 41, the game Where’s My Water, the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and the movie Puncture for just 25 cents each. In addition, you’ll find collections of hip-hop, rock and country albums for $3.99 all week; detective novels from $2.99; some of the Google editorial team’s favorite movies from 99 cents; and favorite apps from 49 cents.
Adam Flanders, a senior vice president at Glu Mobile, a producer of video games for phones, applauds the changes Google is making.
“There’s potential for different types of marketing programs,recommendations based on purchase history. There’s definitely some features that will aid in the discovery of our games.”
Starting this weekend at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, Google will be showcasing Google Play at the Google Village it has planned for the festival.