Google Play Adds Subscription Promos

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Google is rolling out a new feature intended to help Android developers grow their businesses: subscription promos.

Subscriptions have increased consumer spending tenfold in the last three years, Google says. Soon, developers will have the option to create a limited-time introductory price for new subscribers. An app creator with an app that normally charges $5 per month could, for example, offer a subscription for $1 per month for the first three months.

"We know how important subscriptions are in helping you monetize and we're continuing to invest in features to support your subscription business," Larissa Fontaine, global head of apps business development for Google Play, wrote in a blog post.

Introductory pricing not only helps attract new subscribers, but also allows users to test a program or game before taking the full-price plunge, she said.

Fontaine also touted some recent updates for Android developers, including the Early Access open beta program; pre-registration for Android app downloads ("which has driven more than 30 million installs so far," she said); and the Indie Corner collection, which highlights up-and-coming titles.

Google, meanwhile, plans to revamp the Play store, infusing artificial intelligence to allow for better recommendations, according to Reuters. We should also expect the option of more ways to pay for apps, which is currently limited to credit/debit cards, gift cards, PayPal, direct carrier billing, and any Google Wallet balance you have.

The types of apps is also set to expand beyond simply mobile offerings. Google's Daydream virtual reality headset, Android Wear 2.0 for smartwatches, and Chromebooks will be receiving an increasing amount of software support in the Play Store.

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