Google Ditches Android Market, Rebrands its Content as Google Play [Video]

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.

Starting Tuesday, the Android app store, along with Google Music and the Google eBookstore, are losing their individual identity — and all reassembling under the Google Play umbrella, tells Mashable.

The change is more in name than in functionality. In short, it’s an attempt by Google to break down the walls surrounding each of its content offerings. While users may have known that Google sells Android apps, some may have had less knowledge of its video or book offerings.

“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,” Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Digital Content, wrote in a Google official blog.

“Today we’re eliminating all that hassle with Google Play, a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet. Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again,” he said.

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.

Google has spent months and months building out the Android Market into a digital media hub, but constantly invoking the Android name seems to have led to a sense of exclusion for some users, according to Tech Crunch.

There’s nothing about the process of renting movies, purchasing music, or skimming through e-books from Google that requires anyone interested to actually own an Android device. All of a user’s pertinent media is stored in Google’s considerable cloud and accessible from run-of-the-mill web browsers, and Google wants to drive that point home with the new Google Play brand.

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, according to USA Today.

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.

Promotional videos for Google Play drive home that the service is cloud-based, much like Apple’s iCloud can be used to view content on one of your devices, and then pick up where you left off on another. For instance, if you purchase a book to read on your Android phone, you can pick up where you left off on your tablet later on.

“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 mark the move, Google is also offering a new book, album, video rental and app at discounted prices for the remainder of the week as part of a “7 days to Play” sale.

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.”

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