Google Play now supports in-app subscriptions | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Google Play now supports in-app subscriptions

Google Play now supports in-app subscriptions
Tim Green


Devices / Android / May 25th 2012 at 3:21PM

Marking a renewed push at newspaper and magazine publishers.

The move comes a year after Android first began offering in-app payments, which has since become a mainstay of the app publishing universe.

In fact, Google says 23 of the 24 top-grossing apps in Google Play use in-app billing, and the total revenue generated from in-app purchases exceeds revenue from traditional app purchases.

Now, developers can sell auto-renewing monthly or annual subs from inside of their apps. They just set the price and billing interval and Google Play manages the purchase transactions for them.

After the transaction, users are informed of new charges by email at each renewal, and they can visit My Apps in the Play Store app to view their accounts.

The obvious target here is journals and magazines, but entertainment providers can also take advantage to sell game levels, music tracks and so on.

Already signed up are Glu Mobile, which is launching updated versions of games offering subscriptions through custom VIP currency packages.

As an interesting add-on Google is also introducing an HTTP-based publisher API so that developers can extend access from their Android apps to their web properties, based on subscriptions that are purchased on Google Play.

The launch represents a new attempt by Google to master subs. Last year, it responded to Apple's controversial subscription platform with Google One Pass, which gave publishers the ability to set their own prices and terms for their digital content, while Google took ten per cent.

However, only a handful of newspapers signed up and the project was canned in April.