In-app purchases and especially subscriptions are the most popular methods to monetize an app. On the one hand, a subscription allows a developer to develop content and a product, on the other hand, they help a user to get a more high-quality app in general. In-app purchases are subject to 30% commission, but if a user has been subscribed for more than a year or an app earns less than $1М per year, the commission is 15%.
This is the first article from the series dedicated to in-app purchases in Android apps. In this series, we will cover the topics starting with the creation of in-app purchases and up to server validation and analytics:
- Android in-app purchases, part 1: configuration and adding to the project
- Android in-app purchases, part 2: processing purchases with the Google Play Billing Library.
- Android in-app purchases, part 3: retrieving active purchases and subscription change.
In this article, we’ll explain how to:
- Create a product in Google Play Console;
- Configure subscriptions: how to specify duration, price, trials;
- Get a list of products in an app.
Before we start, make sure you:
- Have a developer account for Google Play.
- Have signed all agreements and are ready to start working.
Now, let’s get down to business and create our first product.
Switch to your developer account and choose an app.
Then, in the menu on the left, find the Products section, select Subscriptions and press Create a Subscription.
Then, we’ll see the subscription configurator. Here are some important points.
- Create the ID that will be used in the app. It’s a good idea to add a subscription period or some other useful information to ID, thus, you can create products in one style, as well as analyzing sales statistics will be easier.
- The name of the subscription that a user will see in the store.
- Subscription description. A user will see it, too.
Scroll down and choose the subscription period. In our case, it’s a week. Set up the price.
Usually, you set the price in the basic account currency, and the system converts the price automatically. But you can also edit the price for a specific country manually.
Please notice that Google shows the tax for every country. It’s great, App Store Connect doesn’t do so.
Scroll down and choose (if needed):
- Free trial period.
- Introductory price, which is an offer for the first payment periods.
- Grace period. If a user has payment issues, you can still provide them with premium access for some number of days.
- An opportunity to resubscribe from the Play Store, not from the app, after cancellation.
Comparing the purchase process in Play Console and App Store Connect
Regardless of the fact that subscriptions are monetized more effectively on iOS, Play Console’s admin board is more convenient, it’s organized and localized better, and it works faster.
The process of product creation is made as simple as possible. Here we told how to create products on iOS.
Getting a list of products in an app
Once the products are created, let’s work on the architecture for accepting and processing purchases. In general, the process looks like this:
- Add a Billing Library.
- Develop a class for interaction with products from Google Play.
- Implement all methods to process purchases.
- Add server validation of a purchase.
- Collect analytics.
In this part, let’s take a closer look at the first two points.
Adding Billing Library to a project: