Google Play targets emerging markets with prepaid app subscriptions and more – TechCrunch

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Google Play targets emerging markets with prepaid app subscriptions and more – TechCrunch

At the Google I/O developer conference today, the company showcased several changes designed to make it easier for Android app developers to generate revenue through subscriptions, especially when trying to reach users. in emerging markets. Most notably, the company said that it is now allowing developers to offer users the option of subscribing through prepaid plans that essentially grant access to an app and its services for a fixed term set by the developer.

Users would then be able to purchase in-app refills when their subscription runs out and they have the funds to continue. Google said the feature would make sense in regions where pay-as-you-go cellular plans are standard. In these markets, consumers are already used to the prepaid model, so extending it to apps could help boost developer subscription revenue. However, prepaid subscriptions could also help target other use cases, like subscription-averse customers who are reluctant to lock themselves into ongoing fees and want more control over when and how much they spend on their mobile apps.

Google also announced expanding pricing options with the launch of “ultra-low” pricing to reach users in emerging markets.

Last March, Google reduced the minimum price limit for products in more than 20 markets in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, allowing developers to lower prices from as little as 10 to 30 cents (USD). At the time, the company explained that these “sub-dollar prices” would allow developers to reach potential new buyers by adjusting prices to “better reflect local purchasing power and demand.”

Now Google says developers can drop prices to as low as 5 US cents. This would allow developers to also run local sales and promotions and support various micro-transactions, such as in-app tipping.

While these changes will help better target Android app users in emerging markets, Google has also made other improvements to app subscriptions.

The company said it makes it easier to sell subscriptions on Google Play by allowing developers to set up multiple base plans and special offers, to reduce the overhead of managing an increasing number of SKUs as they go. that developers are changing the way they want to sell subscriptions with offers.

In this setup, a developer can establish multiple base plans, each with its own billing period and renewal type, such as auto-renewing monthly or annual plans or monthly prepaid plans. Then, for each base plan, they can create multiple special offers throughout the subscription lifecycle. For example, they could create a buy-in offer for a limited-time free trial, an upgrade offer to move from a prepaid plan to an auto-renewing tier, or even a downgrade offer to help hold back a subscriber who may seek to cancel because they are not using all of their subscription benefits.

Google also offers an in-app messaging API that can be used to remind users to update their payment information when their payment method is declined, he noted.

Last year, the company announced that it would start supporting other payment methods, including cash and prepaid plans. It has since expanded its payment method library to include more than 300 local payment methods in 70 countries and added e-wallet payment methods such as MerPay in Japan, KCP in Korea and Mercado Pago in Mexico, said Google.

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