Watching I/O Together | Flexible New Tools to Power Your Google Play Subscription Business

By Steve Hartford, Product Manager, Google Play

There are several ways for developers to monetize on Google Play, and digital subscriptions are one of the fastest growing. As subscription business models evolve, many developers have asked us to simplify the sale of subscription businesses and provide more flexibility.

In response to these demands, we have reinvented the developer experience for subscription sales. Now, we're bringing you new subscription features and a new admin center interface to help you grow your business. On top of that, we've also separated the benefits that subscriptions offer from the way subscriptions are sold. Each subscription can now be configured with multiple base plans and offers, allowing you to sell your subscription business in multiple ways and reduce operational costs by eliminating the need to constantly create and manage more and more SKUs .

You may have noticed changes in the Play Console as we re-divided the existing subscription SKUs into subscriptions, basic plans and offers. The new subscription configuration works the same as before, and you don't need to update your app or backend services immediately.

△ Subscription configuration example

More flexibility to increase reach, conversions and retention

Each basic plan in the subscription service defines a different billing period and renewal type, such as monthly auto-renew, yearly auto-renew, and 1-month advance payment.

You can also give users access for a given period of time with the new prepaid plan . Users can extend their usage period in your app, or directly through the Play Store. This payment plan works well for pay-as-you-go regions, such as India and Southeast Asia. Prepaid plans are also a good alternative for users who are not ready to purchase an auto-renewing plan.

The Basic plan can have multiple offers for different phases of the subscription cycle, whether you want to attract new users, offer upgrade offers to motivate users to upgrade, or retain existing users. As long as your subscription service can provide users with value, we will work hard to help you reach users with suitable solutions and provide them with cost-effective and convenient subscription services.

Offers offer many pricing and condition options. The basic plan includes pricing for all users, while the offer provides differentiated pricing for eligible users. You can offer offers to all users covered by the basic plan, or you can create offers only for specific regions. for example:

  • Offer free trials or discounts on subscriptions to lure users
  • Incentivize users to use longer billing cycles or premium subscription plans with upgrade and cross-upgrade offers
  • Upgrade offers also incentivize users to switch from a prepaid plan to an auto-renewing plan

You can also create custom offers if you want to offer more flexibility to your users, and it's up to you to decide the specific business logic. Like a second free trial opportunity, or a "return offer" for churned users.

Understand your business with better metrics

We've updated how metrics are calculated in the Play Console to provide you with better reporting . Metrics such as newly added subscribers, conversion and retention rates, and unsubscribe rates are more consistent and aligned with how financial metrics are calculated. You can now directly compare data between the Play Console and the Real Time Developer Notifications API. Additionally, subscription metrics are now cumulative, meaning the data reported for previous days won't change over time.

Get started now

All of the new subscription features mentioned above are already available, please visit the Help Center for details. If you want to start integrating these features, check out the guides, documentation, and sample apps.

If you encounter any problems in use, please be sure to contact us .

You are welcome to click here to submit feedback to us, or to share what you like and problems you find. Your feedback is very important to us, thank you for your support!

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