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Create promotions

By creating promotions in Play Console, you can give users a free paid app, in-app product, or subscription with a promo code. There are two types of promo codes:

  • One-time use codes: Automatically generated unique codes that can be redeemed once. Users can redeem one-time use codes directly from the Google Play or in-app.

  • Custom codes: Custom codes that you specify and that can be redeemed multiple times or up to your predefined limit. Users can only redeem custom codes in-app. Custom codes are only available for subscriptions and can only be redeemed by users who have not previously subscribed. You must make eligibility criteria for promotions clear to your users.

Important: You must be transparent about your promotion offers. This includes being explicit about your offer terms. Users should not have to perform any additional action to review the information. To ensure that your app is compliant with our policies, review our Subscriptions Policy in the Developer Policy Center.

Subscription promo codes provide users with a free trial of between 3 and 90 days. You choose which subscription to generate promo codes for, and that subscription’s backwards compatible base plan is used. If the offer already has a free trial or other offers, it is replaced with the promo code free trial length.

Set up a promotion

Step 1: Get your app ready to use promo codes

Subscriptions and in-app purchases: If you want to offer promo codes for subscriptions or in-app purchases, you need to integrate In-app Promotions in your app. Keep in mind that promo codes can't be used for inactive products.

Paid apps: To offer promo codes for paid apps, go to Step 2.

Step 2: Review promo code limits and availability

How many promo codes can I create?

Different quarterly limits apply for non-subscription promo codes and subscription promo codes. Promo codes created for subscription promotions do not count towards your limit for non-subscription promotions, and vice versa.

You can create up to 500 promo codes per quarter across all non-subscription promotions in an app. You can use any combination of paid app and in-app promo codes, such as:

  • 500 paid app promo codes
  • 500 promo codes for one in-app product
  • 250 paid app promo codes + 250 promo codes for one in-app product
  • 100 promo codes for five in-app products

You can use subscription promotions within the following limits:

  • One-time use codes: 10,000 promo codes per quarter per subscription product. 

  • Custom codes: You can choose a redemption limit during promotion creation, which must be between a minimum of 2,000 and a maximum of 99,999.

Note: Once you create a promotion, you can't change the number of promo codes in that promotion or switch promo codes to a different type (for example, change a paid app promo to a managed product promo).

What happens to my one-time use codes at the end of a quarter?

  • New codes: If it's the first day of a new quarter and you can't create new codes yet, wait for 24 hours and try again.
  • Unused codes: If you don't use all of your promo codes in a quarter, you'll lose access to them. Unused codes won't carry over to the next quarter.
  • Processed codes: Users can redeem promo codes on the Google Play up until the promotion end date you entered in Play Console. Promotions can last up to one year.
Step 3: Set up a promotion in Play Console
  1. Open Play Console and go to the Promo codes page (Monetize > Promo codes).
  2. Click Create promo code.
  3. Review and agree to the Promo codes Terms of Service.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to name your promotion, choose start and end dates, select your promotion type, and enter the number of promo codes you want to create.
  5. If you’re creating a subscription promotion, choose which subscription to generate promo codes for, and the length of the free trial. Note that the subscription’s backwards compatible base plan is used.
  6. If you’re adding a custom code, enter the code and the redemption limit. Here are some things to consider when creating a custom code:

    • Custom codes must be unique per app, which means you can’t reuse a custom code in the same app for a different campaign. 

    • Custom codes must be alphanumeric and are not case-sensitive.

    • Custom codes cannot contain offensive or inappropriate words or phrases.

    • We recommend adding a year or date to the end of your custom code to make it easier to track when each code was enabled.

  7. To turn the promotion on during the start and end dates you entered, set the status to On.
  8. Click Create.
  9. If you created a one-time use code, wait several seconds and select the download link. Your codes will download to a comma-separated values (.CSV) file. To share with users, you can print the codes or send a deep link allowing users to redeem the codes via email or a notification within your app.

Comparing promo codes and offers for subscriptions

You can provide various offers and promo codes depending on your business needs:

  New customer acquisition offer Upgrade offer Developer determined offers One-time use promo code Custom promo code
Purpose Acquire new users Upgrade, downgrade, cross-grade users You determine Acquire and retain users Acquire new users
Benefit Free trial and/or intro price phases Free trial and/or intro price phases Free trial and/or intro price phases Single free trial Single free trial
Eligibility New subscribers Current subscribers You determine New, current, or previous subscribers New subscribers
Discovery and purchase Within your app or Play Store Within your app or Play Store Only within your app Distribute via any method. Redeem within your app or Play Store. Distribute via any method. Redeem within your app or Play Store.

 

Review and update promotions

In Play Console, you can access active and paused promotions.

  • Active: Users can redeem your promo codes since it's within the start and end date for the promotion.
  • Paused: Users can't redeem your promo codes until you turn the promotion back on. On your Promotions page in Play Console, make sure that you've set the status to On and set the end date.

Note: After a promotion’s end date has passed, the promo code is expired. After the promo code is expired, users can’t redeem the code, and you can’t view or update the code in Play Console.

Update a live or paused promotion
  1. Open Play Console and go to the Promo codes page (Monetize > Promo codes).
  2. Next to the promotion you want to change, click View promotion.
  3. You can make updates to the promotion name, start and end date, and status (paused or active).
    • Update a start date: If you change a promotion start date to a future date, you're pausing the promotion until that date.
    • Update an end date: You can only update a promotion end date to a future date.
    • Pause promotion: You can click Pause promotion at the top right of the page. Users won’t be able to redeem promo codes for this promotion until the promotion is started again.
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