Google just announced a massive update to how it will market and sell content and app. The Android Market, Google Music and Google Books are now a thing of the past and have been integrated into a new service called Google Play. Google calls the service "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." The combined entertainment store will give users access to 20,000 songs you can upload to your free music locker and "millions of new tracks" for purchase, as well as access to the 450,000 Android apps that are currently available in the Android Market. In addition, Play will also let users buy content from Google's eBook and movie catalog.
Goodbye Android Market
Neither Google's eBook nor movie offers have been major hits, so this new combined market, which will be available online and on Android (where it replaces the Android Market), could help to raise the profile of these services.
The idea here, besides offering a central store, of course, is also to make it easier for users to seamlessly switch between devices as they read a book or watch a movie. All your data will be stored in the cloud, after all, and should be available from anywhere.
There are some geographic restrictions to what Google will offer where. In the U.S., users will be able to get access to the full selection of movies, apps, eBooks and music. In Canada and the U.K., Play will only offer movies, books and apps, while Australian users will only get apps and book and Japanese users will get access to movies and apps. In the rest of the world, Play will basically just be an app store for the time being. Google, of course, hopes to roll more services out to more countries in the long run.