Blended in among the many Pixels, Chromecast, and speaker yesterday was one other essential tidbit. Google is essentially rebranding Android TV to Google TV over the next few years. However “Google TV” is greater than only a software program pores and skin, it is also the brand new title for Google Play Movies & TV. That is makes it the second Play-branded service to get the boot within the subsequent month when you contemplate Play Music, and I do not suppose it is sufficient. It has been eight years, and I feel it is time for Google to kill the “Play” branding throughout the board.
Frankly, I by no means thought it made sense to start with. The Play title all the time struck me as some govt’s obsession with differentiating Google’s platforms from Apple’s in a method they may market as “enjoyable.” I can simply think about the one-sided dialog now: “See, an app ‘Retailer’ is all work and no play. Wait, ‘Play!’ That is it!” Restricted to apps and video games with the Android Market to Play Store rebranding, it nearly labored, however Google determined that mainly every thing it may cost you cash for wanted Play branding. Names like Play Music and Play Films & TV at the least made sense, however we even have Play Books, and we had Play Newsstand and Play Magazines for some time. Truthfully, I might argue that Google’s fixation on Play branding has outright damage a few of these efforts.
Google’s fixation on Play branding has outright damage a few of these efforts.
It looks as if Google is beginning to get the concept — at the least, not directly. Whereas I feel the Play Music transition in all probability has extra to do with handing off the nightmare of licensing to YouTube and forcing higher integration between the 2 companies as a method of cross-promotion, Play Films & TV’s new title is rather more telling. It does not appear like Google’s simply handing issues off to a special division, it simply realized that it made higher sense to model the service along with the software program: You watch Google TV in your Google TV. Which may make the transition confusing while Android TV is still a separate thing, however in a couple of years, the favored sensible TV software program can be ubiquitous with Google’s method of promoting you content material for it, and that is an enormous benefit.
Whereas the corporate cannot leverage those self same strengths with issues like Google Play Books or the Google Play Retailer, I feel slicing out “Play” in favor of direct Google branding makes much more sense. Half these companies are abbreviated to lose the “Google” a part of their names in loads of locations just like the app drawer anyway, so simply making it “Google X” is extra recognizable for purchasers. Ask somebody exterior the tech bubble what firm runs Play Books and also you in all probability will not get the correct reply. Moreover, it is already labored earlier than: Google News has been claimed to be “the world’s largest information aggregator,” and I doubt Play Newsstand may make that declare.
An “App Retailer” additionally explains what it’s. What the hell is a “Google Play?”
Google has additionally mentioned it is going to be loosening the reins in the case of different app shops on Android subsequent 12 months, and that might imply the Play Retailer will lastly must compete with different app sources. (Yeah, certain, you possibly can sideload apps on Android, however Google’s Play Providers bundling with mainly each OEM and deeper system integration makes it a defacto monopoly with performance on Android nobody else is allowed to get.) If and when that occurs, Google’s incumbent Play platform may find yourself with some big-league competitors, and I feel rebranding issues sooner moderately than later would give it time to construct higher recognition: a minor edge within the coming race.
Ask somebody exterior the tech bubble what firm runs Play Books
The Play Retailer can be a extra severe topic than a reputation like “Play” implies. Literally billions of dollars flow through it, and loads of unbiased builders make their residing by means of Play Retailer apps and billing. This is not “Play,” it is work, and acquainted as I’m with Google’s Play Store developer-support woes, I even take a wholly totally different that means from the branding: Google cannot take any of this significantly.
On high of any pragmatic factors, there’s additionally one final and extra basic argument: Dropping the Play branding is extra thematically applicable for the form of firm Google is now. As soon as upon a time, Google was a “enjoyable” firm — not only for its workers, however for the form of public picture it projected. Android releases had tasty treat names and wildly impractical statues, and the corporate took extra of a spaghetti-on-the-wall strategy to mainly every thing. However these days are lengthy gone — at the least, on our facet of the fence trying in. And we won’t blame Google; it clearly wasn’t a sustainable technique. However whereas it won’t be a bland and boring suit-and-tie company but, it feels slightly nearer on daily basis, and a reputation like “Play” simply does not jibe with Google’s present picture.
With extra apps and companies shedding Play branding this month, I feel it is time for Google to tug the band support fully off and kill “Play” altogether.