Google took to the stage at their annual Playtime developer event (this is the Play Store focused one) and announced several initiatives some new, some old. The big takeaway for consumers like us was the introduction of subscription promotions.
With Subscription Promos, developers can set an introductory pricing scale for their app subscriptions to allow users easier access to the service before they decide if they want to invest in the full app. With spending on app subscriptions seeing a 10x increase over the past 3 years, it’s unsurprising that Google is focusing on this business model.
The pricing and length of the promos seem completely customisable by the developer so they will be able to choose how much of a discount and for how long to offer potential users. It’s unclear how this could integrate with the current free trial system, however, it may be as simple as setting the price to $0.00 for x months.
With Google’s recent announcement that they would be taking a reduced share of subscription revenue (to a 15/85 split instead of the traditional 30/70 split) it’s safe to assume that we will be seeing an increase in subscription apps.
This leads to an interesting conundrum, we fully support the right of developers to get appropriately paid for the work they do, and it’s great to see Google giving them a larger share of ongoing revenue. However, with more and more digital services adopting micro-payments, it could be easy to rack up a very expensive monthly internet services bill.
It will be interesting to see how the market adapts to the future challenge, because it’s barreling down the track like a steam train, and it’s heading right for us!