Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass is a paid for subscription service that provides access to high-quality, curated games without ads and in-app purchases

What is Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass is a paid-for subscription service that provides access to 500+ Google Play high-quality, curated games without ads and in-app purchases. It’s Google Play’s equivalent to Apple’s ‘Apple Arcade’ of the same premise. Google Play users can subscribe after a month’s free trial to the paid subscription ($30 annual instead of the usual $4.99/month fee.) 

Why Google Play Pass is Important

Google Play will try to surface any apps from its Google Play Pass premium collection more frequently to encourage usage of the paid subscriptions (the channel will be providing Google with a different revenue source so presumably they’ll be pushing it as much as possible.)

It’s important because it’s a completely separate channel for growth. For app devs / marketers who are interested in this route ( it’s currently a by acceptance-only option), as an additional channel it offers the potential for more reach, more discoverability and could result in an increase of installs. 

Google Play Pass and ASO

Google Play Pass is important to ASO. One example is if an app is part of the collection, a ‘Play Pass Badge’ can be added to an app’s listing page, which may give users more incentive to download the game. This could have a positive effect on conversion rates (CVR) specifically for those users. 

Being part of the Google Play Pass collection affects how an app ‘features’ as Google highlights pass apps as it explains “in a curated section of the Play Store with new featuring opportunities.” This means there’s scope for ASO to play a part in getting an app into one of these featured placements and certainly something to be aware of.

Also, only very recently has Google Play Pass been made available outside the US; countries now include:  Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, & the UK. Being available to users in so many new, additional markets is great news for app developers / marketers looking for audience reach.

But, at a $4.99/month price point, Google Play Pass is surprisingly accessible and competitive enough to compete with the cost of some in-app purchases found in their regular store games. Being such good value for money means that users might not be deterred by a relatively low price tag and may be more likely to investigate what the pass offers. This may result in gamers being more interested in the subscription service than the usual paid mobile game market which could have a negative impact on an app’s CVR. Though, bringing in a testing platform like Storemaven that has access to millions of user sessions means there’s advice out there on how best to fully optimize a product page, including how to rank for keyword searches with users who will be looking for games similar to those that are offered in the pass space.