Google is combining the Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into one product called Google Play, which appears to be Google's answer to the iTunes store.
The company says it will be upgrading the Android Market app on Android devices to the Google Play Store app over the coming days.
"Your videos, books and music apps (in countries where they are available) will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps," explains Google Director of Digital Content Jamie Rosenberg. "The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always."
"In the U.S., music, movies, books and Android apps are available in Google Play," says Rosenberg. "In Canada and the U.K., we’ll offer movies, books and Android apps; in Australia, books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps. Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps. Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we’ll keep adding new content to keep it fresh."
"We believe that with a strong brand, compelling offerings, and a seamless purchasing and consumption experience, Google Play will drive more traffic and revenue to the entire ecosystem," says Google's Kenneth Lui on the Android Developers blog. "We’ll be investing in the brand to bring Google Play to as many people as possible, and we’ll also invest in the latest digital content to keep Google Play fresh, relevant, and engaging. Apps and games remain the core of Google Play, so we’ll continue investing in new ways to connect users with their favorite apps, and developers with new customers."
"Google Play is built on the same infrastructure as Android Market, so the transition for users and developers will be seamless," he adds. "Users can sign into their existing accounts with the same credentials as before and purchase content using the same payment methods. As a developer, there’s no change needed to your published products and you can continue to use the same publishing tools to put your app in front of hundreds of millions of Android users. If your app was in Android Market yesterday, it’s in Google Play today."
Google Play stores up to 20,000 songs for free (which was already the case with Google Music).
Google is offering a different album, book, video rental and Anroid app at a discount each day for the next week to promote Google Play in what Google is calling the "7 Days to Play" sale.