Google scraps Android Market, reveals Google Play


Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) said it is overhauling its Android Market into a more expansive online content marketplace with books, movies and apps--thereby putting it more in line with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes and App Store. Google Play integrates the features of Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into a single, cloud-based ecosystem.

google play

Click here to watch a video about 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," wrote Jamie Rosenberg, Google's director of digital content, on the company's blog.

All previously purchased content will be available through Google Play by accessing a user's Google account.

"Google Play will become a single experience for users," Rosenberg said in an interview with CNet. "This creates a more powerful experience around Android and also increases opportunities for content partners" to interact with more of Google's offerings.

Google Play also touts the ability to store up to 20,000 songs for free in the cloud, to then listen to via PC, desktop, tablet or mobile device. All content purchased through Google Play is cloud-based, allowing users access to music, movies, apps and e-books on-the-go.

While numerous studies have shown Android to be the dominant operating system among U.S. smartphone users, Google's Android Market app storefront has not experienced the same level of success. Last year, mobile analytics firm Distimo reported that revenues generated via Apple's App Store for iPhone exceed Google's Android Market by a 4-to-1 margin. 

In a similar vein, last month Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) VP of developer relations Alec Saunders at the BlackBerry DevCon Europe conference, argued that the BlackBerry App World storefront is more profitable than Android Market.

For more:
- see this Google blog entry
- read this CNet article

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