|Google Play Celebrates 1-Year B'Day|
|Joanna Stern||Mar 6, 2013, 3:00 AM|
A year ago today Google announced that it was doing away with its Android Marketplace and launching Google Play, an all-encompassing digital download store with apps, movies, music, magazines and books.
Google says it has added more than a million piece of content to the store this year, and today it's offering a discount on some of them.
For the day, Google will be offering a new selection of 99-cent movie rentals, new release movies to own for $4.99, and a selection of five-star books for under $5. It will also have a selection of $1 magazines for one week. On the app front, Google is launching special birthday games with Android characters and app partners will be offering discounts. Etsy is offering $5 off for first time buyers and Fancy is offering free shipping and cash discounts.
Of course, this all is to celebrate the success of the store, says Google.
"It's hard to believe it has only been a year. It's been an eventful and successful year from our standpoint," Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Digital Content for Google Play, told ABC News in an interview. "We invested heavily in getting content into the store in the last year and we closed deals with major content providers in every one of the categories."
While Rosenberg wouldn't detail revenue or exact numbers of sales, he says it has been a huge success for the company. A success that has also piggybacked on the success of Android.
"We ride on top of tremendous distribution of Android. We announced that we had activated 500 million Android devices in the fall, and we're adding 1.3 million new activations on Android every day," Rosenberg said. The store also dovetailed nicely with the launch of Google's own 7-inch, $199 Android tablet - the Nexus 7.
Google's Play store allowed the Nexus 7 to compete against Amazon's Kindle Fire, which had access to Amazon's large content store.
"Google Play consumption indexed higher on the Nexus 7 than on other devices," he said. "It was a great way for us to showcase the Play services."
Of course, Play's greatest competitor is Apple's iTunes and App Store. Just a few weeks ago Apple announced that more than 25 billion songs had been downloaded from iTunes; there are 26 million songs available in the store.
But Rosenberg says the store will grow even more with time. While the app area of the store is available in more than 130 countries, the other services are limited to only a specific number of countries. Google plans to bring the rest of its content selection to as many countries as possible.
But for all users he promised more polish and integration with the store.
"We will get to spend more time now polishing and integrating the experience, and creating a delightful experience that involves different properties working with each other," he said.