Google shocked the world last week when they announced an immediate change to Android in that there would no longer be an Android market rather, it’s now part of the all inclusive “Google Play” experience. In speaking with two very well placed sources in Mountain View, we’ve found out a lot about Google Play.
The first thing is that Google Play was created to bring all of the different content and media for download and purchase across the entire Google ecosystem. According to our source, Larry Page and others with Google thought that the Android Market was performing phenomenally well with 300 million users, but why stop there. Google was looking to allow the content available in the Android market to the billions of users with a Google account.
The simple fact is that everyone who has an Android phone has a Google account by default, however not every person with a Google account has an Android market account. Google will start offering music, books and videos via the browser, in addition to the Android market, Android phone and Android tablet.
More after the break
With that in mind Google’s music, and video content will be able to play via a set top box with internet, a Google TV and other new forthcoming Google devices.
According to our source folks within Google were looking for a few more features to add to the new Google Play before doing the rebranding. Hoewver that didn’t sit right with Google’s Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin or Google CEO Larry Page. While Google had a huge presence at Mobile World Congress this year, many of Google’s key engineers had to stay back in Mountain View to work on the rushed launch for play.
While it was rushed though, the Play launch didn’t miss any punches. In fact the Android House in the Google Village at SXSW was filled with references to the new Google Play.
While we can understand why Google wants to offer the movies, music and book content across more devices and outside of just Android, we’re still left wondering about the Android apps. We’ve heard that Google is in talks to purchase the company Game Closure. While on the surface Game Closure seems to be just another HTML5 shop, we hear that they are the key to bringing Android apps to the browser, specifically starting with Chrome and then to other browsers via a users Google Account.
Google doesn’t make any money from Android aside from mobile and mobile search advertising, we know this already. The revenue stream from movies, music and books is currently locked into Android and the early adopters of Google TV. By bringing Google Play to their billions of Google account holders, Google will be able to increase their potential revenue by 2-3 fold, at least.
The move from Android Market to “Google Play” is representative of a much larger plan and affects many areas of Google’s business.
One sticky area for Google has been the Google Checkout/Google Wallet teams. One of our sources tells us that there was a Google Checkout team for Android, a separate one for music, and yet another for browser implementations. Google Play and Google Checkout/Wallet will be streamlined to build a more recognizable brand and more easy to use experience.
While Google Play may have seemed rushed at first, we hear that the next year or so will be a crucial time to see if this strategy will work. Google Play is an integral part of this “Home System” announcement that we are expecting at Google I/O.