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Android developers can now set introductory prices for apps on the Play Store

Internet search on a tablet

Chromebooks, Daydream VR headsets, and Android Wear devices will soon have Google’s Play Store, the company announced in a blogpost. This was part of Google’s Playtime series of developer events. In Playtime, Google also said that developers could create an “introductory price” for new subscribers for a period of time, before the usual subscription price kicked in.

This was to help developers acquire more customers and grow the subscription business. The company claims that subscriptions are the fastest growing business model on the platform, where user spends on subscription apps has grown 10x over the last 3 years.

Developers can also use pre-registration to drive up app installs, and also use “early access” to drive early adoption of their apps or games. According to Google, open beta titles have been installed over 4 million times. Google has also announced a new beta API which will let developers identify users who have requested refunds.

Apple promo codes on App Store

Google enabled promo codes on the Android Play Store in January this year. Earlier this month, Apple started allowing developers to distribute promo codes for paid apps and in-app purchases, to distribute their app to reviewers or as a sample to potential customers, without having to pay for it. Similar to Apple’s plans, Android developers can generate up to 500 free promo codes per quarter for paid apps or in-app purchases. Overall, both companies offer 2,000 promo codes per year. However, Android developers cannot create promos for subscription content, something Apple allows.

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 Push for user awareness on Android apps & the Play Store

Earlier this year, we reported that Google would start displaying a label telling its users whether or not an app contained an ad on the Google Play Store. The label was in addition to existing designations of in-app purchases on the Play Store. Last May, the company unveiled a developer program called ‘Designed for families’ which would let app publishers undergo an additional review to mark their apps as family friendly. Last June, Google bought a startup called Agawi which allowed users to stream and use apps before purchasing them.

In February 2015, Google said that it would pilot app promotions on the Play Store, essentially bringing advertising to a platform that it was only monetizing with paid transactions earlier. In August 2015, the company introduced Search Ads in the Google Play Store for advertisers and developers who used the Search app install campaign on their AdWords account. The company claimed that search was one of the biggest drivers of app installs in the Play Store. At the time, Google claimed that Google Play reached over 1 billion people on Android devices across 190 countries and Search Ads would help them discover apps they could have missed.

Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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