Google announces in-app subscriptions for Android apps

After introducing in-app purchases for Google Play last year, a new subscription feature should open the door to new revenue opportunities.

The new in-app subscription feature should open up new revenue opportunities. Google

Google today announced a new feature for Android applications offered through the Google Play store. Available immediately for Android developers, in-app subscriptions will allow users to pay for monthly or annual subscriptions directly inside of apps. And as detailed by Google, the feature is set to auto-renew by default with transactions managed by the Google Play store.

In addition to adding a new level of convenience, the move opens the door to added revenue streams and even new types of content through Google Play. Looking forward, today's announcement could entice magazines and news journals to offer subscriptions to consumers directly through Google Play.

After introducing in-app billing a year ago, Google now says that it has become quite profitable for developers. According to the Android Developers blog, 23 of the 24 top-grossing apps in Google Play take advantage of the feature, and the total revenue generated from in-app purchases exceeds that from traditional in-store purchases.

The first apps to implement the in-app subscription feature are expected to arrive in the coming days. Glu Mobile, a popular Android game developer, advises that it will release updated versions of its top titles with subscriptions through custom VIP currency packages.

Developers interested in offering in-app subscriptions are encouraged to log in to the Android dashboard and review the in-app billing documentation. Google advises that it has already enabled back-end support for devices running Google Play 3.5 or higher and that users can begin buying subscriptions immediately.

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