Add subscriptions & recurring charges
With subscriptions, you can add products that charge users for content or services on a recurring basis. You can offer multiple subscriptions within the same app.
To add recurring charges and subscription billing to your apps, you'll need to use the Google Play In-app billing API.
Users can purchase subscriptions on Google Play clients version 3.5 and higher in countries where in-app billing is supported. Subscriptions must be priced greater than $0 and the price of a subscription can't be changed. Subscriptions can't be unpublished.
Subscription & free trial time periods
- Weekly: Weekly subscriptions can't be charged using direct carrier billing.
- 1 month
- 3 months
- 6 months
- Seasonal: Seasonal subscriptions need a start and end date and can be prorated. For more information, see the seasonal subscriptions section below.
Add a subscription to your app
Adding a subscription is very similar to adding a regular in-app product, except the price is set to per month, per season, or per year.
The In-app billing version 3 API supports in-app subscriptions. If you use in-app subscriptions, it's best to migrate to In-app billing version 3 API.
Tip: Before starting, you need to have the BILLING permission on your APK to add in-app products.
- Sign in to your Google Play Developer Console.
- Click All Applications .
- Select your application.
- On the left menu, click In-app Products > Add New Product > Subscription.
- Add the In-app product ID.
- Click Continue.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your subscription.
- Click Save.
Subscription policiesUpgrade or downgrade existing subscription plans
With in-app subscriptions, you can add the ability for users to upgrade or downgrade their existing subscription to another plan your app offers. For example, users can change from a monthly to an annual subscription or from a basic to a premium subscription.
Users won't receive a refund for their old plan. To account for unused time remaining on an existing subscription, the first charge of their new subscription plan will be delayed.
Grace periods allow your subscribers to update their payment method if a recurring payment is declined. This can be useful if your subscribers have an expired credit card, subscribed using a prepaid card, or canceled a card without updating their payment information.
Declined payments & grace periods
At the start of a grace period, your subscribers receive an email notifying them of a declined payment. They'll have time to update their payment method without interrupting their subscription. Once your subscribers update their payment method to a valid form of payment, their next subscription billing date stays the same.
For new subscription products created after April 28, 2015, the following grace periods are set by default:
- Weekly subscriptions: 3 days
- Other subscription periods: 7 days
Change a grace period
You can change the grace period (3 days or 7 days) for individual subscriptions or turn off grace periods.
- Sign in to your Google Play Developer Console.
- Select your app.
- On the left menu, click In-app products.
- Select a subscription.
- Change your grace period settings.
End of grace period
If your subscribers' payment method is still declined by the end of the grace period, their subscription will be canceled and they'll lose access to their subscription content.
Requirements to set up a trial subscription
- To offer trial subscriptions to your users, you need to set a trial duration per subscription SKU.
- Trial prices are always $0.
- The minimum length of a trial subscription is 7 days.
User experience with trial subscriptions
- A user can only use a trial to a specific subscription product one time.
- When a user cancels their trial, they'll lose access to the subscription at the end of their trial period.
- Users will be billed on the day following the end of the trial period.
When you add a seasonal subscription, you can prorate the price of the first billing period for users who sign up after your original start date. When the subscription recurs, the user will pay the full price of the subscription.
Here's one way you could set up discounted pricing for a seasonal subscription starting on October 1:
- $180 for users who sign up on or after October 1
- $150 for users who sign up on or after November 1
- $130 for users who sign up on or after December 1
Prorated pricing policies
- You can update prorated prices an unlimited number of times, but existing subscribers remain on the original price schedule.
- Prorated pricing can only be set between the start and end date of your subscription.
When a user cancels a subscription, they don't receive a refund. Instead, they have access to their purchased subscription until the end of the prepaid subscription period.
To help users who cancel a subscription and want to subscribe again, you can add the ability for users to resubscribe without having to wait until the end of their existing subscription period. When a user resubscribes before the end of their existing subscription period, they'll see a $0.00 charge.
- You (as the content or access provider) may implement a more flexible refund policy with your users directly. It is your responsibility to notify your users of any changes to your refund policies and ensure that the policies comply with applicable law.
- In some cases, the user may contact you directly to request cancellation of a subscription. In this and similar cases, you can use the server-side API to directly cancel the user's subscription from your servers.
- You must support a subscription as long as it has at least one active user. If a developer doesn't support subscriptions with active users, the developer account will be suspended and the user's subscription will be refunded using the developer's account.
Visit our developer site to learn more about offering in-app subscriptions.