[This post is by Kenneth Lui, Android Developer Ecosystem. —Dirk Dougherty]
For more than a year we’ve been focused on expanding the reach, content, and monetization opportunities of Android Market. We started by extending the store to users on the web and then went on to add books, movies, and music. The number of people who have visited, registered, and downloaded from the store has been amazing.

Today we’re launching Google Play, an integrated destination for apps, books, movies, and music, accessible to users on Android devices and to anyone on the Web.As part of this launch, Google Play replaces and extends Android Market — users everywhere can now find their favorite apps and games in Google Play, with other digital content, all in one place.

We believe that with a strong brand, compelling offerings, and a seamless purchasing and consumption experience, Google Play will drive more traffic and revenue to the entire ecosystem.

We’ll be investing in the brand to bring Google Play to as many people as possible, and we’ll also invest in the latest digital content to keep Google Play fresh, relevant, and engaging. Apps and games remain the core of Google Play, so we’ll continue investing in new ways to connect users with their favorite apps, and developers with new customers.

As we grow and promote Google Play around the world, we’ll be marketing your apps and games at the same time. Our policies have not changed and our goal is still the same — to create a great, open marketplace for distributing Android apps.

Google Play is built on the same infrastructure as Android Market, so the transition for users and developers will be seamless. Users can sign into their existing accounts with the same credentials as before and purchase content using the same payment methods. As a developer, there’s no change needed to your published products and you can continue to use the same publishing tools to put your app in front of hundreds of millions of Android users. If your app was in Android Market yesterday, it’s in Google Play today.

We’ll be rolling out Google Play to devices in a phased OTA update, starting today and continuing over the days to come. With the update, the Android Market app will upgrade to the Play Store app and the Music, Videos, and Books apps will upgrade to Play Music, Play Movies, and Play Books. This update is for devices running Android 2.2 or higher, and users on other devices will continue to have the same access to your apps as before.

You can start sending customers to your products in Google Play right away. Check out the updated “Get it on Google Play” badges and look for an email with more details on the transition. In the meantime, you can check out the Google Play web site at the link below and join the discussion on +Android Developers.