25 Billion Reasons Amazon Should Be Scared

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) has now processed more than 25 billion downloads through its Google Play service, and competitors in the digital distribution arena -- namely, (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) -- have good reason to sit up and take note. What's so stunning about this number is that Google Play was only launched in March, less than seven months ago. To put that in perspective, consider that the Apple App Store, which has been around since July 2008, didn't reach 25 billion downloads until six months ago.

Watch the preceding video for the full story, including Google's additional strengths with its Android platform and implications for competitors down the road. And what about Amazon? Everyone knows it's the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but the company has a lot riding on digital distribution as well. When a relative newcomer to the space hits 25 billion at such a fast pace, should Amazon investors be worried? In our new premium report on Amazon, we'll tell you what's driving Amazon's growth, which risk factors to keep an eye on, and how to know when to buy and sell. Our report also has you covered with a full year of updates as key new hits, so click here now to get started.

Lyons George has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple,, Google, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend, Apple, Google, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 7:26 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    Pretty impressive indeed. However, I often find that Google Play has a very poor selection of music. I usually have to go to Amazon or iTunes to find the songs I want (yes, I still pay for music every once in a while). Hopefully Google Play grows its selection.

    After my computer crashed a few months ago I switched from listening to music on my iPod to using my phone and Google Play/Music. It's awesome buying music on my walk to the gym and listening to it for my workouts. No sync necessary!

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 8:07 PM, matthewluke wrote:

    Google Play did not launch in March of this year and it did not do 25 billion downloads in less than 7 months. Google Play launched in 2008 (just like the Apple App Store). Google Play is just the rebranded Android Marketplace. And the 25 billion number includes all the downloads from when it was still called the Android Marketplace.

    According to Cnet's numbers, Google Play/Android Marketplace hit 25 billion in 1,435 days.The Apple App Store did 25 billion in 1,334 days.

    It is still quite the accomplishment for Google. They have done a lot to close a once huge gap between their store and Apple's store. But it is nowhere nearly as huge as you make it out to be.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 8:16 PM, matthewluke wrote:

    *Android Market

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 11:17 PM, gslusher wrote:

    What does the 25 billion number include? Is it just apps or does it also include music? I ask because the reference to Apple is for the App Store--just apps, no music or videos. I can't find good data on the number of songs downloaded as of now, but, as of a year ago, it was 16 billion--and all of those were sales, as Apple generally has few "free" songs. The iTunes Store has over 26 million songs. Thus, perhaps the real comparison should be Apple with 41+ billion apps & songs, plus TV shows & movies.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 11:18 PM, gslusher wrote:

    Another question: how many of those 25 billion downloads were free apps and how many were paid?

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2012, at 11:30 PM, getmenews wrote:

    I truly am not inspired!

    Rick McCoy

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2012, at 3:30 AM, gslusher wrote:

    I did a bit more research. At the WWDC on June 11, 2012, Apple said that there had been over 30B downloads from the App Store. They had announced reaching 25B on March 5, 2012. That's 5B in 98 days, or 51M/day. If the rate has been the same (I expect that it has accelerated as more iOS devices have been sold), that would put downloads today (10/1/12) at over 35B now. Add in probably 20B songs, videos, etc (there had been 16B downloaded as of a year ago) and you have 55B vs 25B on Google Play and its predecessor.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2012, at 9:03 PM, chadhenage13 wrote:

    "And what about Amazon? Everyone knows it's the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but the company has a lot riding on digital distribution as well." - in AMZN's recent earnings report the company's digital content sales were something like 12% of revenue and merchandise was 66%. General merchandise is growing much faster too. If AMZN has a lot riding on digital the company might want to tell its customers!

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