Google Play gift cards emerge, but will they spark digital media sales?

If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space.

Google Play gift cards

With Google continuing its push into digital media sales, it was only a matter of time before Google Play made its way to retail stores’ gift card racks.

The search giant will offer Google Play gift cards in $10 and $25 increments, according to the photos obtained by Android Central (as shown in the image above). The latest Google Play Store app update’s code also contains references to support for gift cards as well as wish lists, reports Android Police.

The move is probably related to the recent success Google had in Google Play sales after gifting $25 to anyone that purchased a new Nexus 7 tablet. That said, giving someone a Google Play gift card would also help boost digital media sales through the Google Play store.

The gift card packaging lists movies, music, books, apps, and “more” along the bottom. I did find it a bit odd that it didn’t mention games, since mobile gaming is rapidly becoming a very lucrative area of digital media sales. Then again, if Google is trying to pair the new gift cards with its new Nexus 7 Google-branded tablet, it might make more sense to focus on passive media consumption.

The gift cards will probably function much like Apple’s iTunes gift cards that allow users to add the full value of the card to an account, which you can then use to purchase things. We don’t know which retail store chains will start selling the Google Play gift cards when they officially debut, but anywhere that currently features iTunes or Amazon gift cards for sale is a safe bet.

VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.