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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