Google is creating a plastic, pocketable links to the digital wares it sells in its Google Play store. Android Central has photo evidence of prototypes of Google’s newest creations–cling-wrapped gift cards worth $10 and $25–which can be traded in for books, apps, movies and music.
With its Play gift cards, Google is following a path first cleared in a big way by Apple when it started selling iTunes gift cards for music and movies, and eventually, apps. This year, Apple replaced its traditional back-to-school iPod giveaway with iTunes gift card this season. If you are heading to school or college and bought a Mac, you got $100 in credit to spend at the iTunes store. This last quarter, the iTunes store generated $1.9 billion in revenue for Apple according to Bloomberg, and Apple is steadily growing access to iTunes and its media sharing features to countries outside the U.S.
The Play gift cards would give people a bit of nudge to spend at the Google Play store, sure. But the gift cards could make the Play store more visible, if the cards were made as readily available as those iconic neon iTunes cards, and seen at every grocery store and Best Buy. But that’s not it for Google. Word is, a “Wish List” feature, as seen on Amazon, is on the way as well.