Mobile game developers have many options when it comes to ways to monetize their apps. Up until today, Android developers have been able to utilize ad revenue, sell their games for a one time charge at time of purchase, or utilize in-app purchases. Google has just announced another option for developers in the form of in-app subscriptions.
Google launched in-app purchases roughly a year ago and now 23 out of the top 24 grossing Android apps utilize this technique which has proven to be far more profitable for developers than the traditional app sales model. One year later, Google is giving developers the ability to build recurring subscription fees into their apps.
Subscriptions are designed to be seamless and easy to manage both for developers and customers. Once subscriptions have been built into an application, developers merely have to specify an amount and renewal period and Google Play automatically deals with charging and notifying users of each charge via email.
Several developers are working on integrating subscriptions into their apps which will be released in the next few days. Glu Mobile is the first out of the gate with an updated version of Frontline Commando which offers VIP features in-game as subscription content.
Subscriptions can be used for a variety of content including magazine sales, level pack for games, music and video content, and any other digital content the developer feels they could sell through subscription based transactions. Developers are also allowed to bridge subscriptions across various services and interfaces. This means a transaction purchased on Google Play could technically be accessible from a related web service.