May 2022 subscription changes guide

Google Play's billing system is a service that allows you to sell digital products and content in your Android app. With the May 2022 release, we've changed how subscription products are defined, and this affects how they are sold in-app and managed on your backend. If you are integrating with Google Play Billing for the first time, you can start your integration by reading Getting ready.

If you were selling subscriptions with Google Play Billing before May 2022, it's important to understand how to adopt new features while maintaining your existing subscriptions.

The first thing to know is that all of your existing subscriptions, apps, and backend integrations function just as they did before the May 2022 release. You don't need to make any immediate changes, and you can adopt these new features over time. Each major release of the Google Play Billing Library is supported for two years after release. Existing integrations with the Google Play Developer API continue to function as before.

Here's an overview of the May 2022 updates:

  • The new Google Play Console lets you create and manage subscriptions, base plans, and offers. This includes both new and migrated subscriptions.
  • The Play Developer API contains updates to support new Google Play Console UI functionality in API form. Notably, there is a new version of the Subscription Purchases API. Use this API to check subscription status and manage subscription purchases.
  • The new Play Billing Library version 5 allows your app to benefit from all the new subscription features. When you're ready to upgrade to version 5, follow the guidance in the migration guide.

Subscriptions configuration

Managing subscriptions via Google Play Console

As of May 2022, you will notice some differences in the Google Play Console.

A single subscription can now have multiple base plans and offers. Previously-created subscription SKUs now appear in the Play Console as these new subscription, base plan, and offer objects. If you haven't already, see Recent changes to subscriptions in Play Console for descriptions of the new objects, including their functionality and configuration. All of your preexisting subscription products appear in the Google Play Console in this new format. Each SKU is now represented by a subscription object that contains a single base plan and backward-compatible offer, if applicable.

Since older integrations expected each subscription to include a single offer, represented by a SkuDetails object, each subscription can have a single backward-compatible base plan or offer. The backward-compatible base plan or offer is returned as part of a SKU for apps that are using the now-deprecated querySkuDetailsAsync() method. For more information on configuring and managing backward-compatible offers, see Understand subscriptions Once your app is using only queryProductDetailsAsync(), and once there are no older versions of your app still making purchases, you no longer need to utilize a backward-compatible offer.

Managing subscriptions via Subscriptions Publishing API

The Play Developer API contains new functionality for subscription purchases. The inappproducts API for SKU management continues to work as before, including handling one-time purchase products and subscriptions, so you don't need to make any immediate changes to maintain your integration.

However, it's important to note that the Google Play Console uses only the new subscription entities. Once you start editing your subscriptions in the Console, the inappproducts API can no longer be used for subscriptions.

If you have used the Publishing API prior to May 2022, to avoid any issues, any existing subscriptions now appear as read-only in the Google Play Console. If you try to make changes, you may get a warning explaining this limitation. Before further editing subscriptions in the Console, you should update your backend integration to use the new Subscription Publishing endpoints. The new monetization.subscriptions, monetization.subscriptions.baseplans, and monetization.subscriptions.offers endpoints allow you to manage all available base plans and offers. You can see how the different fields map from the InAppProduct entity to the new objects under monetization.subscriptions in the following table:

InAppProduct Subscription
packageName packageName
sku productId
status basePlans[0].state
prices basePlans[0].regionalConfigs.price
listings listings
defaultPrice No equivalence
subscriptionPeriod basePlans[0].autoRenewingBasePlanType.billingPeriodDuration
trialPeriod basePlans[0].offers[0].phases[0].regionalConfigs[0].free
gracePeriod basePlans[0].autoRenewingBasePlanType.gracePeriodDuration
subscriptionTaxesAndComplianceSettings taxAndComplianceSettings

This required API update only applies to the Publishing API (SKU management).

Play Billing Library changes

To support gradual migration, the Play Billing Library includes all the methods and objects available in previous versions. SkuDetails objects and functions like querySkuDetailsAsync() still exist so you can upgrade to use new functionality without having to also immediately update existing subscriptions code. You can also control which offers are available through these methods by marking them as backward-compatible.

In addition to keeping legacy methods, Play Billing Library 5 now includes a new ProductDetails object and a corresponding queryProductDetailsAsync() method to handle new entities and functionality. Existing in-app products (one-time purchases and consumables) are now also supported by ProductDetails.

For a subscription, ProductDetails.getSubscriptionOfferDetails() returns a list of all base plans and offers the user is eligible to purchase. This means that you can access all base plans and offers eligible for the user, regardless of backward-compatibility. getSubscriptionOfferDetails() returns null for non-subscription products. For one-time purchases, you can use getOneTimePurchaseOfferDetails().

Play Billing Library 5 also includes both new and legacy methods for launching the purchase flow. If the BillingFlowParams object passed to BillingClient.launchBillingFlow() is configured using a SkuDetails object, the system extracts the offer information to sell from the backward-compatible base plan or offer that corresponds to the SKU. If the BillingFlowParams object passed to BillingClient.launchBillingFlow() is configured using ProductDetailsParams objects, which include ProductDetails and a String representing the specific offer token for the offer being purchased, the system then uses that information to identify the product being acquired by the user.

queryPurchasesAsync() returns all purchases owned by the user. To indicate the requested product type, you can pass in a BillingClient.SkuType value, as in older versions, or a QueryPurchasesParams object that contains a BillingClient.ProductType value that represents the new subscription entities.

We recommend updating your apps to version 5 of the library soon so you can start taking advantage of these new subscription features.

Managing subscription status

This section describes the primary changes to the backend components of a Google Play billing system integration that need to be implemented for migration to version 5.

Real Time Developer Notifications

Soon the SubscriptionNotification object will no longer contain a subscriptionId. If you are relying on this field to identify the subscription product, you should update to obtain this information from the subscription status by using purchases.subscriptionv2:get once you receive the notification. Each SubscriptionPurchaseLineItem element in the lineItems collection that is returned as part of the purchase status will include the corresponding productId.

Subscriptions Purchases API: getting subscription status

In previous versions of the Subscriptions Purchases API, you could query subscription status by using purchases.subscriptions:get. This endpoint is unchanged and continues to work for backward-compatible subscription purchases. This endpoint does not support any new functionality released in May 2022.

In the new version of the Subscriptions Purchases API, use purchases.subscriptionsv2:get to obtain subscription purchase status. This API is compatible with migrated subscriptions, new subscriptions (both prepaid and auto-renewing), and purchases of all types. You can use this endpoint to check for subscription status when receiving notifications. The returned object, SubscriptionPurchaseV2, contains new fields, but it still includes legacy data that is needed to continue supporting existing subscriptions.

SubscriptionPurchaseV2 fields for prepaid plans

New fields have been added to support prepaid plans, which are extended by the user instead of automatically renewing. All fields apply to prepaid plans as they do for auto-renewing subscriptions, with the following exceptions:

  • [New field] lineItems[0].prepaid_plan.allowExtendAfterTime: denotes when a user will be allowed to buy another top-up to extend their prepaid plan, as a user is allowed to have only one unconsumed top-up at a time.
  • [New field] SubscriptionState: specifies the subscription object state. For prepaid plans, this value is always either ACTIVE, PENDING, or CANCELED.
  • lineItems[0].expiryTime: This field is always present for prepaid plans.
  • paused_state_context: This field is never present, as prepaid plans cannot pause.
  • lineItems[0].auto_renewing_plan: Not present for prepaid plans.
  • canceled_state_context: Not present for prepaid plans, as this field applies only to users who actively cancel a subscription.
  • lineItems[0].productId: This field replaces subscriptionId from previous versions.

SubscriptionPurchaseV2 fields for recurring subscriptions

purchases.subscriptionv2 contains new fields that provide more detail about new subscription objects. The following table shows how fields from the legacy subscription endpoint map to corresponding fields in purchases.subscriptionv2.

SubscriptionPurchase SubscriptionPurchaseV2
countryCode regionCode
orderId latestOrderId
(no equivalent field) lineItems (list of SubscriptionPurchaseLineItem) that represents the products acquired with the purchase
(no equivalent field) lineItems.offerDetails.basePlanId
(no equivalent field) lineItems.offerDetails.offerId
(no equivalent field) lineItems.offerDetails.offerTags
startTimeMillis startTime
expiryTimeMillis lineItems.expiryTime (each subscription acquired in the purchase has its own expiryTime)
(no equivalent field) subscriptionState (indicates the state of the subscription)
(no equivalent field) pausedStateContext (only present if the subscription status is SUBSCRIPTION_STATE_PAUSED)
autoResumeTimeMillis pausedStateContext.autoResumeTime
(no equivalent field) canceledStateContext (only present if the subscription status is SUBSCRIPTION_STATE_CANCELED)
(no equivalent field) testPurchase (only present in licensed tester purchases)
autoRenewing lineItems.autoRenewingPlan.autoRenewEnabled
priceCurrenceCode, priceAmountMicros, introductoryPriceInfo (no equivalent field)
This information can be found in the basePlan/offer for each of the subscriptions purchased.
developerPayload (no equivalent field) developer payload has been deprecated
paymentState (no equivalent field)
You can infer the payment state from subscriptionState:
  • Payment is pending:
    • SUBSCRIPTION_STATE_PENDING (new purchases with pending transaction)
  • Payment has been received:
  • Free trial:
    • (no equivalent field)
  • Deferred upgrade / downgrade:
cancelReason, userCancellationTimeMillis, cancelSurveyResult canceledStateContext
linkedPurchaseToken linkedPurchaseToken (no change)
purchaseType Test: through testPurchase
Promotion: (no equivalent field); coming soon
priceChange lineItems.autoRenewingPlan.priceChangeDetails
profileName, emailAddress, givenName, familyName, profileId subscribeWithGoogleInfo
acknowledgementState acknowledgementState (no change)
promotionType, promotionCode (no equivalent field); coming soon
externalAccountId, obfuscatedExternalAccountId, obfuscatedExteranlProfileId externalAccountIdentifiers

Other subscription management functions

While purchases.subscriptions:get has been upgraded to purchases.subscriptionsv2:get, the rest of the developer subscription management functions remain unchanged for now in the purchases.subscriptions endpoint, so you can continue using purchases.subscriptions:acknowledge, purchases.subscriptions:cancel, purchases.subscriptions:defer, purchases.subscriptions:refund, and purchases.subscriptions:revoke as you did before.

Pricing API

Use the monetization.convertRegionPrices endpoint to calculate regional prices as you would through the Play Console. This method accepts a single price in any Play-supported currency and returns converted prices (including the default rate of tax where applicable) for all regions where Google Play supports purchases.