Yesterday on the Android developer blog, Google announced that it will launch in-app billing for the Android Market next week. In-app billing allows Android users to purchase more content directly from within an app — a near identical feature to Apple’s somewhat controversial yet similar scheme. In the announcement, Google also said that developers can begin testing this feature immediately by simply uploading their apps to the Developer Console. In the Developer Console, developers can create catalogs of in-app purchases, set prices and test the transaction process.
The implications of this are huge as far as businesses are concerned. Android is by far the fastest growing platform, and while most iOS apps are paid apps, most apps on Android are free of charge. In-app purchases perfectly support the freemium model for business. The freemium model is popular because it allows consumers to interact with your product with no bar to entry, and yet offers your company a revenue stream if your product impresses the user. I’m confident that there will be more revenue from in-app purchases than there will be from app sales at the end of the day. So, revisit your company’s mobile apps and you might find that a river of revenue runs through an already existing product.