Google today launched the first deal in what will be a series of freebies and discounts on mobile apps, books, TV, music and movies, now being made available to Android users via Google Play. The “surprise calendar countdown,” as the giveaway program is being called, kicks off with a $35 credit for Hotel Tonight.
Programs in the past have offered discounted apps as limited time offers. For example, last year’s celebration saw 10 apps offered for 10 cents for 10 days during the month of December, in celebration of Android reaching 10 billion downloads.
However, with this year’s surprise calendar countdown, it seems Google is actually working with some of the companies themselves in order to offer free or discounted content instead. For this debut deal, users have to first download the Hotel Tonight application, but can then receive a $35 discount towards their hotel stay by using a special promo code (Google35).
No other details on what the future deals will involve, beyond the fact that they will expand beyond apps to also include the other media and music content hosted on Google Play. The promotion runs from now until January 1st, 2013.
We’re reaching out to Google to get more info, as it’s unclear at this time if the deals are U.S.-only, and will update when we hear back. Update: Google says that most of the deals are going to be U.S.-only (sorry world!) but there may be some app specials outside the U.S. Stay tuned. More details are here on Google+.