Google Is Testing a $4.99 App Subscription Bundle

Google has been testing a new app subscription bundle that gives users access to premium apps for one monthly price. Google Play Pass, as the subscription offering is being called, promises users “all play, no interruptions,” according to a promotional graphic unearthed by Android Police.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is currently testing the subscription, but declined to comment further.

Google Play Pass, at is it being tested right now, costs $4.99 per month, and promises access to “hundreds of premium apps and games without ads, download fees or in-app purchases.”

There seems to be a heavy emphasis on games, with some of the titles shown on screenshots including “Marvel Pinball,” “Stardew Valley,” “Monument Valley,” “Threes,” “Star Wars: Kotor” and “Ticket to Ride,” as well as kids games like “Elmo Loves 123s.”

However, at least during the test, Google is also including non-gaming titles, with specific mentions of fitness trackers and premium music apps. This means that Google Play Pass is likely going to be different from Apple Arcade, the game subscription service that Apple is looking to launch this fall.

What unites the two services is the motivation behind them: Both Apple and Google are looking to grow their subscription revenues.  In Apple’s case, this is part of a bigger move towards services revenue that is meant to make the company less dependent on hardware sales.

The iPhone maker announced earlier this week that it now has more than 420 million subscription customers across all of its paid services, which include paid third-party subscriptions that are billed by the company. Google has been less successful with subscription products, and is also selling fewer paid apps and games to Android users. Google Play Pass can be seen as one effort to change that.


Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Geneva Wasserman

    Condé Nast Taps Film Veteran Geneva Wasserman as SVP of Motion Pictures

    Condé Nast Entertainment hired Geneva Wasserman as senior vice president of motion pictures, overseeing development of the media company’s slate of feature film properties. Wasserman, a nearly 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, most recently served as co-founder and executive producer of production firm Project Z Entertainment. She takes over the role at CNE after [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean Regulators Approve Four-Way Streaming Merger

    South Korean regulators have approved the merger of the video services of three local broadcasters and SK Telecom’s streaming app Oksusu. The new service, operating under the name Wavve will launch in September and be Korea’s largest. Proposed in January as a measure to combat the incursion of international video players, the deal was given [...]

  • siriusxm on playstation

    SiriusXM Announces $4 Streaming Plan for Students

    SiriusXM took another step towards taking its subscription service past the car Tuesday: The company announced a new student subscription tier that gives eligible college students access to music and talk radio stations on their mobile and connected devices for $4 per month. Some of the content available for this price includes SiriusXM’s more than [...]

  • Mission - Impossible - 1996

    Stan Australian Streamer Inks Content Deal With Paramount

    Stan, the Australian streaming video firm owned by Nine Entertainment, has signed a content supply deal with Paramount Pictures. The multi-year agreement adds to Stan’s line up of arrangements with Hollywood suppliers that already includes MGM, Disney, and Lionsgate. Subscription video has taken off hugely in Australia, where there are now an estimated 12.3 million [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Janice Lee

    Asian Streamer Viu Adds Wattpad Development Deal

    Multi-territory Asian video streaming service Viu has struck an original content deal with tech-driven story firm Wattpad. Together they aim to develop film and TV series under the Viu Original label. Canada-based Wattpad hosts a vast library of user-generated stories, with a claimed user base of 80 million, including 22 million in the Asia Pacific [...]

  • Oculus Go Product Shot

    Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

    Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content