With Google Play, the technology giant wants entertainment consumers to come play in its digital sandbox.
Seeking to create a single destination for digital media and entertainment, the Mountain View, Calif., company on Tuesday said it is pulling together its disparate books, music, movie and game efforts under one umbrella dubbed Google Play.
The initiative involves Google Music, Google Books and Android Market in such a way that visitors to those sites will be redirected to a single page, on tablets and cellphones that run Google's Android operating system as well as on Web browsers.
With tabs for music, books, movies and applications, Google Play mirrors similar efforts by Apple Inc., Amazon.com and Microsoft Corp. to become an entertainment and media hub. For a full report, see the story on our Technology blog written by Jessica Guynn.
"What we’re seeing is that consumers are identifying with ecosystems, which includes devices and a broad offering of services," said Jamie Rosenberg, Google's director of digital content. "So we're creating this notion that the consumer has a single relationship with Google as the ecosystem for their content."
Rosenberg said unifying Google's various media initiatives also would benefit its content partners. A movie release with tie-ins to books, games and soundtracks could, for example, take advantage of Google Play's unified approach.
"It’s also a foundation for many things that we’d like to do in the future," he said. "Integrated merchandising is just one example that is enabled by this experience."
Android application developers said they welcome Google's changes, believing that the improvements in the user experience will help people find and use more of their products.
"The improved look and flow will make it easier for people to find games," said Adam Flanders, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Glu Mobile Inc., a San Francisco developer of more than 30 Android games such as Stardom and Contract Killer Zombies. "That’s great for us."
With more than 450,000 applications in Google's Android app market, triple the number from a year ago, developers are grateful for anything that can help boost their visibility.
By combining Google audience for all media, Flanders said his company can get in front of more potential customers.
"If they’ve got more eyeballs in the store looking for all kinds of content, there’s a higher probability of people finding one of our games," Flanders said.
— Alex Pham
Top photo: Jamie Rosenberg, Google's director of digital content, at the Google Music launch event last year in Los Angeles. Credit: Los Angeles Times. Bottom screenshot of Google Play courtesy of Google.