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Change subscription prices

You can change the prices of your subscription base plans and offers. For example, you might have digital products that need annual price adjustments, or you might change the set of benefits for a product and want to reflect these changes in the price.

For more information about changing subscription prices using the Play Console, see the documentation in the Play Console Help Center.

To programmatically change the subscription base plan price, use the monetization.subscriptions.patch method. This method receives a Subscription object with the subscription product configuration that is being changed. Set the new price in the RegionalBasePlanConfig object under the correct base plan in the subscription's basePlans collection. This can be very useful if you have a sizable catalog and you need to make updates to all of your products in a short period of time, or if you have a product catalog management system that automatically makes changes to your Google Play subscription products when changes occur.

It could be useful to visit your Play Console change log to look up info about any price changes you have made in the past. The information you can find there includes when the prices were updated, who initiated the change, the regions that were updated, and more. This might assist you in cases where you need to review past price changes or review an accidental price change to assess next steps.

Price changes for new subscription purchases

When you change the price of a base plan or offer, the new price takes effect within a few hours for all new purchases without you having to take any additional action.

Price changes for existing subscribers

When you change subscription prices, existing subscribers are unaffected by default; they are placed into a legacy price cohort where they continue to pay their original base plan price when they renew.

If desired, you can move existing subscribers to the current base plan price. This is action is called ending a legacy price cohort. Changes to an offer's pricing phases cannot be applied to existing subscribers.

End a legacy price cohort

You can choose to end a legacy price cohort at any time. This can be done independently for each region. To end a legacy price through the Play Console, refer to the Play Console Help Center.

End a legacy price cohort with the Google Play Developer API

To programmaticaly end a legacy price cohort, use the monetization.subscriptions.basePlans.migratePrices method. This method migrates subscribers who are receiving a historical subscription price to the current base plan price for the specified regions. The method also triggers price change notifications to be sent to users who are currently receiving a historical price older than the supplied timestamp. When you send this request, you include a list of RegionalPriceMigrationConfig objects in the request body to configure the price cohort migration.

For more information on using legacy price cohorts, see the Play Console Help Center.

Price decreases

When you end a legacy price cohort and the new price is lower than the price that users in the cohort are paying, Google Play notifies the users by email and these subscribers begin paying the lower price the next time they pay for their base plan.

Price increases

When ending a legacy price cohort and the new price is higher than the price that users in the cohort are paying, a price increase occurs. While price decreases apply to existing subscribers the next time they pay for their base plan, price increases may or may not require user action.

By default, price increases are opt-in changes for existing subscribers. Users must explicitly accept the higher price before it is first charged, or Google Play automatically cancels their subscription. Users are charged the higher price the next time they pay for their base plan following an advance notification period of 37 days. Starting 30 days before this charge, Play notifies existing subscribers through email and push notifications.

During the first seven days after the cohort migration is triggered, no users receive notifications from Google Play. This means that you have seven days from when you initiate an opt-in price increase to notify your existing subscribers before Google Play begins notifying them directly. During this period, you can effectively cancel a pending price increase by making another price change back to the original price.

After that seven-day period, each user receives automatic notifications from Google Play 30 days before the first renewal with the new price.

In some cases when increasing prices for existing subscribers, you have the option to perform price increases with advance notification to users, but without requiring them to take any action. With this option, unless users opt-out by changing subscription plans or canceling their subscription, they'll be charged the new price the next time they pay for their base plan following an advance notification period. This period varies by country and is either 30 days or 60 days. Beginning that number of days before this charge, Play notifies existing subscribers through email and push notification.

Opt-out increases are only available in certain locations with limits on the increase amount and frequency, and are subject to certain developer requirements.

You can mark a legacy price cohort migration as an opt-out increase if it meets those criteria, as shown in figure 1.

Google Play Console legacy price cohort migration with opt-out increase
Figure 1. Using Play Console to specify a legacy price cohort migration as an opt-out increase.

Communicate your price change to the user

We recommend that you notify existing subscribers whenever you end their legacy price cohort.

For opt-out price increases, you should give users advance notification, and you must show users an in-app notice. Unlike opt-in price increases, there is no seven-day waiting period before Play starts notifying users directly.

For opt-in price increases, give users advance notification and inform them of the need to accept the price increase. When you initiate an opt-in price increase, you have seven days to notify your existing subscribers before Google Play begins to notify them directly. We recommend that you notify affected users in your app and provide a deep link to the Play Store subscription screen to help them easily review the new price. When users review an opt-in price increase on the Play Store subscription screen, a dialog similar to figure 2 is shown.

Generic dialog notifying the user of a subscription price change
Figure 2. Example dialog notifying the user of a subscription price change.

Handle user response to an opt-in price change

After you have notified existing subscribers of a price change and it's an opt-in increase, they may take action before the new price applies to accept or not accept the price increase. If they do, you will receive an RTDN informing you of the outcome. See the purchase lifecycle guidance to learn how to handle these notifications.

If the user doesn't act and they reach the first renewal that the opt-in price will apply to, their subscription is automatically cancaled and expired on that renewal date.

Accidental opt-in price increases

If you've accidentally initiated an opt-in price increase, reverse the change immediately by making another price change back to the original price. As long as the price is reverted within seven days, existing subscribers are not notified about the accidental price change. Note that any purchases made during that time will be at the accidental price.

Handle overlapping opt-in price increases

Make sure that you only do one price change at a time. However, if you perform an opt-in price increase multiple times within the first seven-day period, impacted users need to agree only to the latest price change. For example, if you've ended a legacy price cohort with an opt-in price increase, change the price again, and then perform another opt-in price increase, affected users no longer need to respond to the first price change because only the second price change now applies.

Test price changes

Do not change subscription prices for products owned by active subscribers for testing purposes.

Examples

The examples in this section demonstrate how to apply best practices in different price change scenarios.

Example 1: Monthly subscription opt-in price increase

On March 3, SuperStreamz increases the price for SuperStreams Pro, their premium video streaming subscription, by ending a legacy price cohort. They move users in the legacy price cohort of $1 to the current base plan price of $2. The effective date of the price change is April 9 (37 days after March 3).

Alice is an existing subscriber whose next renewal is on March 5. The first renewal after the effective date is on May 5, so she renews on March 5 and on April 5 at the old price ($1). When she renews again on May 5, she is charged the new price ($2). Google Play starts notifying Alice of the price change on April 5, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 3. Example price change timeline diagram of a monthly subscription with a March 5 renewal date.

Bob is an existing subscriber whose next renewal is on March 29. He renews on March 29 at the old price ($1) because the price change has not yet taken effect. When he renews again on April 29, he is charged the new price ($2). He starts receiving price change notifications on March 30, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 4. Example price change timeline diagram of a monthly subscription with a March 29 renewal date.

Example 2: 3 month subscription out-in price increase

On March 3, FindMyLove ends a legacy price cohort and increases the 3-month fee for FindMyLove Premium from $1 to the base plan price of $2. The effective date of the price change is April 9 (37 days after March 3).

Alice is an existing subscriber whose next renewal is on March 5. Alice renews at the old price ($1) because the price change has not yet taken effect. When she renews again on June 5, she is charged the new price ($2). She starts receiving notification of the price change on May 6, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 5. Example price change timeline diagram of a 3 month subscription with a March 5 renewal date.

Bob is an existing subscriber whose next renewal is on April 11. Bob renews at the new price ($2) because it's after the effective date for the price change. He starts receiving notifications of the price change on March 12, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 6. Example price change timeline diagram of a 3 month subscription with an April 11 renewal date.

Example 3: Weekly subscription opt-in price increase

On March 3, CutePetsNews ends a legacy price cohort triggering a price migration of weekly fee for Weekly Dog Alerts from $1 to $2. The effective date of the price change is April 9.

Alice is an existing subscriber whose next weekly renewal is on March 6. She renews on March 6, March 13, March 20, March 27, and April 3 at the old price ($1) because the price change has not yet taken effect. When she renews again on April 10, she is charged the new price ($2). She starts receiving notification of the price change on March 11, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 7. Example price change timeline diagram of a weekly subscription with an April 6 renewal date.

Example 4: Monthly subscription with multiple opt-in price changes

This example demonstrates how multiple price changes are handled.

On March 3, SuperStreamz triggers a price migration for SuperStreamz Pro, their premium video subscription, increasing the price from $1 per month to $2. On March 10, the developer triggers a second price migration, increasing the price to $3 per month.

The effective date of the first price change is April 9 (37 days after March 3). The effective date of the second price change is April 16 (37 days after March 10).

Alice's next renewal is on March 5. The first renewal after the effective date is on May 5, so she renews on March 5 and on April 5 at the old price ($1). When she renews again on May 5, she is charged the new price ($2). She only receives notifications about the second price change because the price changes happened within the 7-day freeze period. She starts receiving notification of the price change on April 5, which is 30 days before the first renewal date with the new price.

Figure 8. Example price change timeline diagram of a monthly subscription with multiple price changes and a March 5 renewal date.

Example 5: Monthly subscription opt-out price change

This example shows how opt-out price increases are handled.

SuperStreamzPro needs to make their annual price adjustment to account for programming cost increases. On January 2, they change the price of SuperStreamzPro (their premium video streaming subscription) from $1 to $1.30. This price increase meets the criteria for an opt-out price migration. They immediately end the legacy price cohort, specifying an opt-out migration. Users in this cohort are in regions requiring a 30-day minimum opt-out notification period, so the new price is effective on February 1.

Alice is an existing subscriber, charged on the 14th of each month. Due to the 30-day minimum notification period, she pays the old price ($1) on January 14. Google Play starts notifying Alice of the price change on January 15, and she starts paying the new price ($1.30) on February 14.