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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.

 

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