Taking on Apple iTunes, Google has aligned three key media assets -- Android Market, Google Music and eBookstore -- under a new “Google Play” brand.
It’s “a grand plan to unify all the media [Google] serves up from various portals to one recognizable brand identity and location,” Wired writes. “Call it Google’s iTunes moment.”
To date, “Google’s trouble … has been the disjointed nature of everything it has,” writes Marketing Pilgrim. “From the onset, Apple has been sleek and direct in its presentation of the material you can buy through them.”
As a result, “Over the past year or so, Google has been ramping up how it sells content directly to consumers,” writes Marketing Land. With this latest move, the search giant hopes to show users that what was the Android market “now offers more than apps, with content like books, video and music available even to those who aren’t using Android.”
Still, as is common with rebranding efforts, not everyone’s a fan. “What the hell was wrong with Android Market?” asks TechCrunch’s Matt Burns. Rejecting Google’s reasoning behind the change, Burns argues that “most markets also sell more than one sort of good. The old name worked just as well.”
Branding aside, some analysts suggest that Google will have a tough time rivaling Apple’s media presence. "The biggest challenge [Google has] is they don't have near the level of control that Apple does," Gartner analyst Mike McGuire tells Mercury News. "They don't control all the hardware like Apple does.”
As part of its Play announcement on Wednesday, Google also alluded to some 450,000 downloadable Android apps and games. “That places it second behind Apple's App Store, which offers more than 550,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch,” eWeek points out.
More broadly, “Google … is trying to branch out the way major competitors have,” writes ABC News. “Ninety-six percent of its revenue, it concedes, comes from online advertising (such as the items that appear in colored boxes when you do a search).”