By adding a subscription model to in-app payments, developers can increase their earnings through monthly or annual auto-renewing payments. Of the 24 top-grossing apps in Google Play, 23 use In-app billing, the company says, and “(t)he total revenue from in-app purchases exceeds revenue from traditional app purchases.” Payment is handled through the Play Store, just as with traditional app purchases.
To keep users informed, Google clearly lists the details of each app’s subscription and updates them on their status. Renewal notices are sent automatically with each new billing. App subscriptions are available for review from the store’s “My Apps” interface.
In-app subscriptions can be utilized for premium magazine subscriptions, bundled content, game levels, music, video and other upgrades. Developers can also make use of an HTTP-based API that allows access to content based on a customer’s subscriptions. This allows developers to extend in-app subscriptions across Web properties.
In-app subscriptions are available as soon as you’re ready to implement them. If you already use in-app billing you’ll have to make minor updates to your code. Since Google Play handles the subscriptions, no payment processing functions must be added.
High-quality apps plus value-added upgrades and content equals sustainable passive income for developers. The possibilities for additional income are many. I suspect game level upgrades for tablet games will be a popular. Live wallpaper providers could use in-app subscription to keep users happy with new additions all year. Alarm clock developers could provide a subscription to a custom sound library for users many months after the initial app purchase. Educational apps could provide ongoing lessons and training tasks beyond the base content included in the app.
If you don’t already offer in-app billing, now is a great time to plan your implementation of in-app billing and subscriptions. Add value and get more cash!