Following the news that Play.com is to cease to exist as a retailer and concentrate on their marketplace business, the question has to be asked “How long with the name ‘Play.com’ survive?”
Tradoria, the once proud German marketplace is now fully branded as Rakuten.de. Rakuten.co.uk is all set up ready to go, currently with a holding page stating “Coming soon to the UK. In the meantime, shop at Rakuten Play.com”.
Apart from copious amounts of traffic, there’s very little reason for the Play.com name to survive. It doesn’t make sense for a marketplace to have different branding in different EU countries, or indeed anywhere around the world.
I’ve heard plenty of reasons stating that the name Play.com is easier for English speakers to spell, but quite frankly I can never spell Mitsubishi or Fujitsu and those companies manage to get by with Japanese names.
Dumping the Play.com brand is already underway, the Rakuten logo is significantly larger and more prominent on the website than the Play.com logo. We’re predicting that come April (if not before) that Play.com ceases to exist and Rakuten.co.uk will be the replacement.
What could Rakuten do with the Play.com domain? They’ll probably redirect it to Rakuten.co.uk for a while, but I’m guessing Google would be willing to stump up some serious cash and outbid all other comers. Play.com would be the perfect complimentary URL for the Android marketplace, currently located at play.google.com