Play Store introduces try-before-you-buy on in-app subscriptions

Google has introduced a new feature to the Play store that allows developers to offer users trial access to in-app subscription content before they buy it.

Users will have the opportunity to sample the content for a period of time set by the developer, minimum seven days.

The user has to first purchase the content, but at a price of £00.00. Access is then free until the users cancels, or until the end of trial period, at which point the billing system kicks in, charging to a card that the user was already required to enter.

“If necessary, the user can cancel the subscription at any time during the trial period,” explains Google. “In this case, Google Play marks the subscription as expired immediately, rather than waiting until the end of the trial period. The user has not paid for the trial period and so is not entitled to continued access after cancellation.”

Google introduced in-app subscriptions to the Play Store in May this year. This latest update will may help developers entice users who otherwise wouldn’t pay a for a full subscription period without properly sampling the product.

Provided the content is compelling enough, this new feature, one not offered by Apple’s App Store, should enable a boost in subscriptions. And with users having to actively opt out of the trial period to prevent the billing activation; all the people who simply forget may well constitute a cheeky bonus also.

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