Last Updated: March 18th, 2012

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see How Much Built In Storage Do You Need In A Tablet?

Earlier this week, Google revealed a sweeping revamp to their content offerings when they rebranded them as, collectively, Google Play. Though David argued that the rebranding was as a whole a good thing, the general consensus from those who have an opinion (and are voicing it via social media and public forums) is pretty negative. "Play" makes a lot more sense from a general marketing and sales standpoint (it removes "Android" from the equation, which makes it easier for people to understand that the services are not exclusive to the OS). But it's also change - which people inherently hate - and worse still, was unannounced, so it threw many non-techie users for a total loop.

What's your ultimate opinion? Was the rebranding a good or bad move?

Is "Google Play" A Smart Rebranding Or Bad Miscalculation?

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Micah Madru

    Bad idea, it doesn't accurately describe what it is and it ruins the perception of it as a productivity location for software.

    • indranet

      I agree completely. I have been with Google search since it started. I have earned a PhD with Google's help, written books and done other kinds of research. I have an iGoogle home page. I know there are hundreds, probably thousands, of writers, scientists, researchers and educators out there who have used it in a similar way. But I have never "played" with it. I feel very offended that Google would alienate a part of its loyal customer base of Serious Researchers with such a title. Believe it or not, it feels so insulting to me that I can't bring myself to use the Android Market any more. Sorry Google.

    • Andrew

      And they killed Google Music in the meantime! They really had something going with that. You just can't cram ALL that into one application. These are smartphone apps, not Microsoft Office.

      • Freak4Dell

        What the hell are you going on about? Music is still a separate app...they just changed the name to Play Music and made the logo brighter.

  • Opinion-Man

    Good move, dumb name.

    • Nick Coad

      This. Exactly. I completely understand why they did it, but the "Play" name has me mystified. I think Google Market or Google Store would have been a much better name, and much easier for non-techie people to immediately understand what it is.

      • E.Graul

        Yea, Google Market is what they should have named it! Google Play sounds like they were trying to rename it with no creativity. There's a place near where i live. It use to be called grand pre raceway, it was a go cart race track. But because they had a arcade and gym, they wanted to make it sound less about the raceway. So they called it "Ozzy's Fun Place" There almost out of business cuz of it... For people that don't know about the place, the name ant telling them anything about it... Grand pre raceway use too!!!

      • bender

        Then again, "iTunes" does not clarify that they sell much more than music either.
        But i agree the name is bad.

        • Joshua

          Yeah, but on an iOS device, the App Store portion of iTunes is simply its own icon called "App Store." The rest of the media is in iTunes.

          I don't think it's a great name, but I appreciate their effort to unify everything and make it clear these services are for more than just Android.

        • Andrew

          Something like that. I'm still getting used to this whole new world. But it appears Google's just going to follow in their footsteps, so maybe the switch isn't so terrible. I know the App Store is completely separate, not affiliated with iTunes. It appears you BUY the music in itunes, then you listen to all your music on the Music app. Which is the way it should be - I don't want to open a market to play what I already paid for (hahaa JK I've never even opened the itunes app.) I don't mess with iTunes, it's a piece of shit that I refuse to install on my computer, so the phone needs to continue being an independent woman.

          But seriously... the new market... I'm sorry "Play" would be easier to swallow if the interface didn't look like someone hit it with a bus.

    • sriracha

      i agree, good move but odd name. either way, they can call it "Google Ass Crack" for all i care, just keep feeding me discount apps, music, and books.

    • John Stableford

      Ditto, I only Just realised that my not-so-tech-savvy uncle/auntie thought that google marketplace meant the stock market... I think a change of name might be usefull, however I think they might get MORE confused with google play thinking it's just for games

    • Wicket

      agreed. they should have gone with "Google Market" oh well I guess.. :/

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

      Sorta think this should have been one of the options. Ultimately they needed to rebrand at least the media outlets (arguably they could have left the app market the same).

      The name 'Play', especially the more I think about it, makes me think it's Google's answer to Game Center. Nobody expects Google to hit a home run with a rebranding, but it seems like the kind of idea that somebody had while drinking or it came from some cousin's brand new marketing firm.

    • cosmic

      Spot on with my feelings. Bringing it all together is a good move, but Play seems like an april fools joke come early.

    • http://www.vantechmag.com Vantechmag

      Play limit it mainly to games and that make it in fact dramatically more limiting than Android Market ever was...

      And there is many great alternatives, like...

      Google Plaza (my favotite - welcoming, incude everything and is short)
      Goggle Apps
      Google Go
      Google Open (a starting point and a statement)
      Google Get (as "Get music" and so on)
      Google Store (better than play, but don't promise free apps)
      Google Shop (better than play, but don't promise free apps)
      Google Market (better than play, but don't promise free apps)

      So I sincerely hope they read this and change to the first and greatest alternative ;-)

  • Matt

    In a year or so it will be a good re-branding a different name might have been better but the fact that they are unifying everything under a single simple name where you can have one account for everything is a good idea.

    Yes I know that with a google account you can get books, music, video, ect but not all people know that and they might think you need another account for each of them. This unifies it and makes android more accessible for the not so tech savvy consumers

  • hamlover

    Why didn't they go for Google market?
    Google play doesn't make sense as an online store front.
    I assume they want to compete with the apple app store, a nice, descriptive name
    silly move Google.

  • jjrudey

    Google please answer us on what the "play" is for

    • marshall

      I'm assuming it's the only word that Apple hasn't patented.

      • Mostafa

        This made my day.

      • mIX

        LOL probably. I prefer Market or Store. Makes a whole lot more sense.

        I don't Play books...

        • Axel

          no, you store books.

        • Chris Clark

          It's called the Google Play Store. And jsut Play Store on the icon on Android.

          It is the Store. I have no idea why people continue to think it's Google Play only, that's just bad grammar.

  • Seraph

    If they had made sure more people knew about it (like what they did with their privacy policy changes), it wouldn't have been such a mess. I'm still not 100% sold on the name "Play", but I'm sure that once everyone quits calling tech support because a virus deleted their market and replaced it with some game, it'll be good.

  • Danny

    Love the Idea, hate the name.
    Yes of course making it easier to access is better for example you used to have to buy music at market.android.com and listen at music.google.com, now that makes almost no sense.
    However play just dosn't make sense to me, maybe if they called it the Google market.
    However it will be good in the long run.

  • jonkyu

    The move makes sense, undecided about the name still. In some respects it makes sense but I can't help but think there was a better verb to use.

    • jonkyu

      To note I thought "iPad" was the most horrendous name when it came out...look at it now...everyone has one of those things.

      • Calum

        It's still a terrible name though... Even now, I often hear people say iPad when they mean iPod, and vice versa.

      • Chappo2000

        When I first learned about the ipad my first thought was, 'Apple is getting into the feminine hygiene product market?'

        • TeeGee

          Apple doesn't care about that because they are Carefree ...get it? Gimme a giggle please :D (carefree = a brand for tampons or something)

          Yes,my joke sucked

  • MrYuzhai

    reminds me of all the nerd rage which engrossed the internet when nintendo unveiled the nintendo wii.

    personally? i love the name, the whole rebranding (that logo is so fucking sweet)

    in the long run this will win over a lot of the nay sayers.

  • L boogie

    A move that would eventually unify the entire Google ecosystem was the result of this smart rebranding by the mountain view crew but what me and many others are mystified about, is the choice of Google Play as opposed to google market. Somewhere there has to be a method to this form of brand madness by the el goog crew and only time would tell.

  • Adam

    Meh...doesn't bother me either way

  • Leif

    Good move since the Android market wasn't just about Android.

    The new logo and title would also look great on some kind of gift cards in the future.

    • Calum

      And it's not just about "play", either, so how does that make it a better name...?

    • L boogie

      The idea of gift cards utilized at the play store aka play cards is a great idea and I'm quite sure Google is preparing to implement into google wallet/ other payment formats at the play store down the road. "play cards!?" why do I feel like getting into a game of poker or blackjack all of a sudden? :-)

  • Rob

    It wasn't a smooth transition. I'm fairly tech-savvy and was caught off guard. Add to this that it took a few days for all references to "Market" to update on my phone and I can easily see how the extreme non-tech user could have been greatly confused.

    I agree with many of the comments here that Google Market or Google Store might have been a better choice all around.

  • Noreen

    Google has reasons for rebranding, then so be it. However, announcements/advertising, before the change, would have appreciated.

    (I hope that Google will still keep bug droid around... I'll miss him.)

  • http://www.brgulker.tumblr.com brgulker

    Consolidation, good thing.

    The name and branding, awful.

  • J Rush

    The idea is genius. The naming is off. When I think of "Play" I think of games and such. So clearly when I say I got something from the "Play Store" obviously they think "Oh he got a game" or "It's just for games". In the long run, good move. However, they should have had a poll on what the people wanted it named. That would make sense for both parties.

  • L boogie

    +1 for that, a poll result for the brand name would be ideal pool

    • L boogie

      Never mind the pool thing

  • GraveUypo

    i don't like it.
    well, the name at least. and i wouldnt like google market either.

    i don't like how it "weakens" the android brand, which i like more than the google brand itself.

  • WatcherFive

    This reminds me of everytime something new rolls out on Facebook. Everyone complains for a few weeks and then it is accepted.

  • Roy Blumenthal

    Who ACTUALLY cares what the name is? It's just a holding device. Once we're 'used to it' we don't even THINK about a name.

    Think about the name, 'Google'. It's ubiquitous now. Wasn't in the beginning.

    The word, 'Play', seems to be getting people all steamy and insulted. As if productivity and work are such defining concepts. As if it's impossible to allow the thin-end of a conceptual wedge into our brains. Wake up, people... Soon ALL WORK will be play. Cos capitalism is breathing its last. AND, if your work isn't also your play, you're living a soulless, joyless life.

    • TeeGee

      The name GOOGLE made sense from the get go... (Google is a number...as in you can search the google ammoubt of stuff with their search,get it?)... Play is just so generic and the name makes no sense. Google Play should've been a standalone thingie where people could dl music,videos and games only. For easier whateverness.

      • Luly

        If you think Play is generic, don't you think Market is even more generic? So anything will be better than just 'market'

        People are simply afraid of changes and will look for all possible excuses, both logical and illogical, to condemn them.

        The rebranding is definitely a good move in the long run.

  • JonathaN

    The first thing i thought of when i read the name "Google Play" was a gaming network. Google Market would've been better. At first glance the books app looks like something sports related now that its called "Play Books", and how do you play books anyway.

  • kern

    I think Google is just paving they way for their upcoming tablet. To hit that $200 pricepoint, it might skimp on memory, and be more of a streaming-consumption devife like the Kindle.

  • Freak4Dell

    I chose bad idea, but really, it wasn't, at least, not all of it. It definitely was a great idea to finally get rid of the Android association. I still don't like the name they chose, though. So yeah, good idea, but bad execution. There should be an option for that.

    • js

      Yes, poll should have had third choice. Current results indicate support for the name but comments suggest otherwise.

  • Risket

    I don't really care all that much, functionality isn't effected, but I think "Google Store" or "Google Market" would have been smarter. Having "Play" in the name sounds very childish. Like it's only about "playing" and not about productivity. I don't use my phone or tablet for games, I have other devices for that. It sounds like it's just trying to appeal to the 21 and under crowd.

  • Chris

    Long-term, it was a good move. They needed a rebranding and consolidation of their market services into a single hub. They're even a bit further ahead than Apple, which has kept the branding for iTunes and the App Store separate (although both use the same gift card and account system).

    As for the name, long-term, it probably doesn't matter. People will care more about the product than the name; like 'Google' itself, the name is merely a placeholder, a term used to refer to the actual product/service. Like with the iPad, people will talk about it at first, but ultimately get over it and keep on using it.

    And I would guess Google may have thought 'Google Market' was too similar to the existing 'Android Market' and people would have continued to assume it was still a market solely for Android-related apps and software. And 'Google Store' probably implied more of a physical side, like Amazon or a logo shop.

  • Vijay

    I think this is a good move but play books sounds a bit too weird.

  • TBolt

    It's a good thing to bring all those services under one tent - esp when Google has to compete with iTunes. I kind of wish they just used the Market name, but I guess Play is more fun.

  • Widget21

    How about 'Chez Google' you don't only play but it eats at your budget too!

  • Jon

    Instead of Android Market, couldn't they have re-branded it to Google Market? It is a market more than anything. A market is a collection of various vendors, like the market once was -- apps, games, movies, music, and books. So, it was the logically and correct term for it. Google Market would not be implied as to being just on the Android OS.

  • simon

    does a corporate user want to play? i doubt about it. does amazon to have the official android app store renamed to anything else but android? oh yea

  • ari-free

    It's a bad move because it will hurt Android adoption in the IT/enterprise sphere. You know, the people who actually pay for apps and can afford more expensive phones.

  • Mark

    It doesn't really matter. Absolutely nothing changed except the name. It gives some distance from android but other than that doesn't do a whole lot of anything.

  • Jonathan Scott

    One of the big turn on for Android is that it is not Apple, and for that matter, it is not Microsoft. The name does not matter, but if Google wants to grab as much control as Apple has, many will be turned off.

  • Simon Belmont

    Google needed to unify its branding under something more broad than just the umbrella of Android. Music, Books, and so forth needed to "look" accessible from more than just Android devices, so in the long run it was a good move.

    I just don't care for the actual name that they chose. In my opinion, it just strikes me as a bit childish, and pretty much anything more grown up sounding, like "Google Store" or "Google Market" would have been better.

  • Victor

    I don't know if this has to do with the name change, but my app's sales dropped dramatically this week.

  • OFI

    Good move, terrible name.

    Many think of either Sony when the name "Play" is mentioned or the huge EU online store, Play.com

    The silly "Play" on words just adds confusion to the store, the current deals are a prime example as it is not obvious until you open the product details whether the sale item is a movie or a book

  • J-Dog

    The rebranding & bringing everything (books, music, apps, movies, etc) under "one roof" is a decent idea. I don't see anything wrong with it.

    My only issue is with the name. Personally, as others have mentioned, I would have gone with Google Market over Play/Play Store. I think it would be less confusing as the name is familiar & already has several years of establishment within the Android ecosystem. And it is basically what we're talking about. Like a flea market, or a farmers market, Google Market would be an area where various entities (Youtube Rentals, apps, books, music, etc) came together to sell you stuff...

    Personally, I kind of think Play is a little juvenile of a name, and seems to focus too much attention on games than on the other various types of apps etc available (I believe I read somewhere productivity/utility apps were the most purchased on the Market). And if Google is trying to get Android to compete with RIM for business type people... And Play Store is too similar to, and brings back memories of all those old kitchenettes and plastic hot dogs and chairs I had from Play Skool when I was a kid...

  • http://www.statsprofessor.org/ StatsProfessor

    Don't like it, don't like the icon look either. Just feels out of place on my home screen.

    Don't like the colors, I could go on.

  • Matthew

    There are no movies or music in the store in NZ (and many other countries).
    Calling the place I go for my apps "Play" is just silly. I don't go there to play.
    It has games sure, but the main purpose is apps.

  • Zachary Jacob Zblewski

    To all the people suggesting "Google Store"... that's already a thing. http://www.googlestore.com

    They wanted to get away from a generic term. They want to create a brand. Good on them.

  • http://sketaful.se Sketaful

    Google play, apps and other stuffs store for android yeah baby yeah!

    How about that for a name? :P

    I understand the change, not sure about the name thought. But Google Appstore is prob in the line of fire from Apple :P

  • Kimberly

    I would think the old "Market" word is the 1 that would imply games, books, apps, music, movies, business. A "market" for everything.

    The new "Play Store" sounds more like "only games". Only "play things".

    Another big Google step backwards.

  • Sofa

    I always thought just calling it a store or market was pointless. How many physical stores do you visit have the word Store in the name. It's new, but in time Play will become normal to use. "Find it on Play" like "Find it on Amazon" vs. "Find it on the App Store". Which app store? Apple, Android, Ubuntur, etc. It'll help separate them from the rest of the industry, and help them grow.

  • Stocklone

    I love Google Play. I love the name. I love the icon. I love an umbrella over everything instead of shoving it all in the market like an afterthought.