Google Play Store gift cards: not a bad idea

May 3, 2012
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    Everyone remembers iTunes and the success and impact it had on the music market. It marked one of the first times that people had access to an online library full of almost every song out there. The best part was that most songs cost just $.99.

    Today, we are now faced choice from competitors like Zune, a subscription based network that offers unlimited streaming and downloading for a monthly rate. The choices are numerous: we have Napster, Rhapsody, Slacker, Pandora, and Spotify. Not bad if you are a music hound.

    Android users have obviously become accustomed to the Google Play Store, an online mobile market where we can grab videos, music and apps at an individual rate.

    What Consumers Need

    We’ve criticized Google on numerous occasions for the way it handles purchases on Google Play. First of all, substantial swaths of media and apps aren’t available internationally, but we shouldn’t criticize Google for that. Often for media and other streaming services, it’s the older media companies that prefer to keep certain media available within specific geographic zones. Regardless, the Google Play Store really lacks a major payment based objective. We’ve all witnessed gift card kiosks at airports, major franchises, and department store, but why aren’t we seeing a Google Play gift card?

    This is one of the smartest ideas in online payment, since you do not have to pay with a credit or debit card, and can simply travel down the street to buy credits.

    There are several good reasons why people would go to the ‘trouble’ of purchasing gift cards. Firstly, people care about their credit and their personal identity. Secondly, many people don’t have or can’t have credit cards. For people unable to get a credit card for whatever reason, it’s very convenient, and gives them the opportunity to experience the wonder of (gasp) paid apps! Further to this, gift cards make excellent presents. And honestly, $10 goes mighty far on Google Play, whether its on movies, games or music.

    Growing Android Demand

    I myself have gotten quite a few iTunes gift cards to redeem. Since I smartened up and got an Android phone, why use iTunes if I can use Google Play to get music directly on my device? On a separate note, I still receive these from the ‘old’ people in my life, because they think all smartphones are the same.

    Regardless, gift cards for the Google Play store would be a great idea, because that market is focused on mobile operations without the use of secondary computer.

    Competition and Rivalry

    With competition further intensifying between Google, Apple, and Amazon, it is only logical that Google release a similar initiative. Perhaps it has to do more with the idea of Google being a digital company, one that opts to rather transact in such a way that is not physical. Regardless, Google should bring some justice to those who are not comfortable using a credit card, or for those who do not have one, or are unable to get one. If Google were to start selling these prepaid cards, this would absolutely change the way they compete against Apple.

    Sales would undoubtedly rise in the Play Store. According to Wired.com, “Apple’s last fiscal quarter year alone accounted for $1.7 billion in revenue”. And Google did not even release their numbers. Is that a sign of loss Google?

    Most importantly my ability to give great gifts to my friends would be solved. Think about it Google, just about every other company has one. Why not you? What do you think of possible Google Play Store Gift Cards? What do you have to lose?  I would love to hear your comments and feel free to like us on Facebook and share on Google+ and Twitter.

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    Comments

    • LvnmeAndroid

      you should hope someone from google is reading your post. i have my cc registered for purchases, but i do understand some peoples phobias regarding their credit and others just not having any. DAMN great idea

      • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

        Google check this site out – that is a fact! Some of my friends work there too, so I can pass it along. Ultimately we are just trying to help Android become the best it can be. We’re doing the hard work for them :)

    • Ed Burnette

      Google has no incentive. Carriers and devs get revenue from the store, not Google.

      • Justin Miramontes

        You don’t think google has an incentive to do whatever they can to make their devs more money?

    • http://www.techblazes.com/ Naser @ Tech Blog

      This is a great idea. Hope Google implements it soon, as non credit card holders can easily purchase the apps.

    • androapple

      For any people under 18 this is a great idea. Tons of teens have androids and they can’t get credit cards or debit cards and they can’t fully experience android. There needs to be google play giftcards in every safeway walmart and bestbuy in the US

      • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

        Apple gives the merchants a small cut, I think it’s 10% of the value of the gift card. Google will get this going, mark my words.

      • Cole Raney

        Actually teens can get debit cards. I had a bank account, a job, and a debit card at 16. I think my mom had to approve of me getting it though. I don’t remember.

    • Dmwhittley

      I agree with androapple. I’d love to buy apps for my kids but don’t want to tie my credit card to more phones. Here in Sweden you can buy year subscriptions to Spotify as a gift!

      • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

        Excellent points. Perhaps it’s the challenge to build the distribution network, but you would Google could allow you to purchase $5, $10, or $25 worth of credits, and send it to a Google account. Would not be difficult at all.

    • http://smartphoned.us/ Vionasteve

      the information is very valuable to me much because they provide accurate info about android, thanks for your information

    • Mamoon Noorestani

      I think it would be great if Google Play Store gift cards are sold in stores.

    • http://www.nerdshowandtell.com nerdshowandtell.com

      google did just buy a gift card transaction / distribution company recently ;-) http://www.androidcentral.com/google-acquires-txvia-accelerate-innovation-google-wallet

    • Chrisuk

      Have just got an android table for my daughter but don’t want a card connected to it and spend a few days looking for a gift card.
      Think this will stop me buying android in futcher unless this changes.

    • steve

      Google are lazy & to expect me to use a
      Card for pittance like 60p app’s! They think their selfish, thoughtless ppl! I have 14 days to exchange my galaxy s3 for an iphone 4s. I prefer android but forced to change. Their loss. Apple deserve my money more by far!!!

      • http://profiles.google.com/johndaddyo John Ferguson

        I think you’re looking at the smallest possible picture, yourself. I have no idea what the “average” user spends over the course of a year but, I’ll bet it’s much more than the 60p (whatever that is) you speak of. Me tinks you’re just hoping for a little “fun” time bashing anything ‘cept apple. :(

      • VAVA Mk2

        You want to get rid of your S3 and get an iPhone 4S…WTF?!

    • http://profiles.google.com/johndaddyo John Ferguson

      Actually, how about the ability to “gift” a friend, relative “X” dollars to use in the Play Store. This should be done from within the Play Store.

    • chantel

      Honestly this would be a brilliant idea, and would boost the Play Store’s revenue greatly.

    • John Jennings

      I need this. Right now I have to buy an iTunes gift card, buy music or movies on iTunes, convert them to a format for my Samsung GS2 and copy them to my phone. I need googe to have gift cards so I can buy apps on pay for my phone.

    • pamela

      Yes – this is something that Google is definitely lacking. I use my iPod to buy music & rent movies with iTunes card as I hate using my credit card. Get on the ball Google!

    • mez

      i havent bought any paid apps and there are a handful that i want. i refuse to give my credit card to google seeing as i havent given it to microsoft for my xbox (live vouchers) apple for my itunes and ipod music (again i use vouchers). until google release vouchers i wont buy paid apps.

    • macboy74

      Huh I smartened up and got an iPhone. And dumped my nexus. This would be one of a hundred reasons why.

    • Brandon Karnes

      It would be nice if you could at least buy digital gift cards tied to google accounts. I can’t just let my son buy whatever he wants on google play. I’d be broke in no time….

    • VAVA Mk2

      I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a Verizon Galaxy Nexus (rooted,which makes me happy Google Video now supports rooted devices). Something like this highly appeals to me as I have plenty of relatives or people I know who would not know what to get me as a gift. Of course I love Amazon gift cards to either use for my Kindle App or buy stuff on Amazon.com, but I also would love Google Play gift cards for apps and video rentals (I have a Spotify premium subscription so do not see myself buying music from Google).

    • Wainwright AB

      Saw Google Play card on the rack at my local gas station last week

    • Frank

      I totally agree with this. I will not use my credit card to buy apps, so until google introduces a gift card it’s free apps or nothing, and I know many who think the same way !

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000163672370 Johnny Orefice

      I vote either this, or a way to add money to the prepaid Google wallet card through Paypal or some other means. This way you still don’t need to give your credit card info away

    • zzzsh rrffitvvff

      can i use a amazon gift card for google

    • Abdullah

      How can i buy a card online ?

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