Google Rebrands Android Market, Becomes Google Play

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 7, 2012
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Music, Music and Video

Android Market was the place that the majority of Android phone owners went to for downloading and installing new apps and games on their phone. The market offered free and commercial offerings side-by-side, but no music or ebook offerings whatsoever.

Google itself had two issues with that Android Market concept. First that the company's book and music services where not integrated into the market. Apple's iTunes for instance is a one stop destination for all iOS users to get games, apps, ebooks and media on the platform. Google Android owners on the other hand had to visit Android Market for games and apps, Google Music for music, and Google Books for books. The fragmentation of businesses for Android users has been identified by Google as one of the core reasons for the stark revenue contrast when compared to Apple's platform.

The second issue was profitability. Techcrunch for instance reported in December 2011 that Android app developers were only making 27% of what iOS app developers were making. This was problematic as game and app developers would obviously favor iOS development for commercial projects because of this, and because Google did not make as much money as Apple because of the sheer volume of sales.

As a consequence, Google yesterday started to roll out Google Play, a re-branded Android Market with Google Books, Movies and Google Music integration. Google Music and Android Market are already redirecting to Users who visit Google Books see a link prominently displayed on the start page of the service that is linking to Google Play as well.

The store still appears to be fragmented, as you only find game and apps offerings listed on the store front, with no direct links to music, book or movie offerings in the store. For now, it appears as if you can only open those pages on Google Play if you know the store addresses, or if you open the old pages to get redirected to the new store. Here are the links for your convenience:

The movie, music and book listings are only available in select countries. When you open Google Play from an unsupported country, you only get the apps and games listings on the site, and not the movie, music and ebook offers. Below are two versions of the Google Front store front, first one from an unsupported country, and the second from a supported country (U.S.).

No word yet when and if the missing services will be made available to Android users who open the store from unsupported countries. For them, nothing at all has changed.

Have you visited Google Play yet? If so, what's your impression of the service?


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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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