Monetize Freemium Apps

Users are more likely to download free apps and games compared to priced ones. However, we provide you with a number of ways to monetize free apps, using In-app Billing. With this tool you can sell digital goods that are:

  • Durable — once purchased the item will always be available to the user, such as additional app features.
  • Consumable — items that might be used progressively or expire after a period of time, such as a game booster or news subscription.

A basic approach is to offer a free download with limited features or full features for a limited time. Then use an in-app purchase to unlock the full, unlimited app.

Consumable product purchase

Durable goods purchase

A more advanced approach is to offer a range of features and content items through in-app purchases. For example, in games you can offer users new levels, playing pieces, or other game features. In apps you can offer features or functionality that enhance the user experience either by extending existing features or offering new ones. Using this approach you can generate a continuing revenue stream from each app install.

Any item offered as an in-app purchase can also be offered as a subscription.

To get started with In-app Billing you need to set-up a Google Wallet Merchant Account from Developer Console. You then define in-app products in the Developer Console, integrate the In-app Billing API into your apps, and add the mechanisms to unlock features or deliver content.