If there is one thing you can say for the executives and developers over at Google, it's that they aren't afraid of a challenge. Even staring at the dominance that Apple has shown in recent years through the iPod and iTunes store combination, the company has gone forward with a full-fledged effort to win your digital music business.
But is what they've come up with, Google Play, worth your time and money?
To answer that question, here are four things you have to know:
1. Google Play offers low prices on a lot of titles (at least for now). Although it could be just an introductory pricing strategy, I've noticed a lot of offers for really low prices on popular music showing up in my inbox from Google. Even though it's fair to say that iTunes tracks aren't exactly expensive, who doesn't like saving money?
2. Google Play is about more than music. While songs and albums seem to be the marketing focus for now, Google Play has quietly integrated things like video, e-books, and much more into its platform as well. That means that, if it continues to be successful, it may become an all-in-one digital resource for just about any kind of content.
3. Google Play works great with Android smart phones. As you would expect, Google Play works best with the Android smart phone (also from Google). That's interesting, because industry estimates suggest that Droids are outselling iPhones pretty handily at the moment. Could an Apple/PC type split be coming to the market in the near future?
4. Google Play is still growing and changing. For all of this talk about what Google Play is at the moment, what's more exciting is the possibilities of what might be still to come in the future. The company that launched the world's largest search engine is nothing if not ambitious and innovative – by simply entering the digital entertainment market today, they may be on the path to revolutionizing it tomorrow.
These are all good questions, but of course they don't really answer the one that matters most: Does Google Play have a shot at unseating Apple with iPods? Only time will tell. If you prefer Google's interface (and a lot of users do), have an Android, or just like saving money on your music, then it's probably worth giving a try.
In fact, I hope you do – then you can share your opinion with the rest of us!
David West is a successful entrepreneur, online marketer, and speaker on web topics. Click here to find out more about him and his company.