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Sell subscriptions with Play In-app Billing

Use Google Play In-app Billing to sell users access to content and features through a subscription for an ongoing revenue stream.

Why it works

When you use Google Play In-app Billing to sell a subscription, Google Play handles the checkout details so your app never has to process financial transactions. Your app will use the same checkout flow that is used for content purchases on Google Play, so users will get a familiar, reliable, and secure experience. Google Play also helps you attract and retain more customers with customizable subscription options and management features.

Key features

  • Flexible billing frequencies: Set your billing period to weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, seasonally, or annually.
  • Free trials: Let users try your app before subscribing by offering a trial period for a duration of your choosing.
  • Introductory pricing: Specify an initial, discounted price that applies to a set number of billing periods.
  • Local pricing: Customize the price for each market and bill users in their local currency.
  • Grace periods: Allow your subscribers to update their payment method if a recurring payment is declined.
  • Upgrades and downgrades: Add the ability for users to switch from one plan to another (for example from a basic to a premium subscription).
  • Conversion analytics: See which channels bring in the largest number of paid users.
  • Billing reports and dashboards: Measure how much you’re earning every month from each subscription tier you offer and track how long you’re retaining your subscribers.

Best practices

  • Demonstrate the value of the subscription before asking the user to pay. For example, by offering a free trial so users try your app before subscribing.
  • Include shorter period subscriptions, such as weekly or monthly, to avoid the limits that some carriers have on direct billing. These limits may cause the purchase of longer subscriptions, such as yearly, to be blocked and revenue lost.
  • Encourage users to sign in before you ask them to subscribe, so the subscription process can access their personal and payment details. This can help to move them further down the funnel by reducing barriers.


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