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In-App Subscriptions - Management Guide for App Owners
In-App Subscriptions - Management Guide for App Owners
Updated over a week ago

In the dynamic world of app development, subscription plans play a pivotal role in monetizing and sustaining an app's growth. However, managing these subscriptions comes with its own set of challenges and intricacies. This guide aims to elucidate the key aspects of subscription management, especially when it comes to changing the pricing of your In-App subscriptions.

Transaction Details and Marketplace Limitations:

  • Ownership: Any In-app transactions occur between the app user and the marketplace (Apple, Google, Amazon, Roku). While we don't have direct control over these transactions, we manage them using the limited options available within each marketplace's developer account.

  • Limited Disclosure: These marketplaces have stringent policies regarding the information they disclose. As a result, they often withhold certain transaction details, limiting the data shared with app developers and owners. This is the primary reason why there's limited management capability over subscription details from our end.

Modifying Subscription Access and Pricing:

  • Dashboard Limitations: Making changes to a user's subscription access or altering the price directly from your dashboard will not reflect in your apps. It's essential to understand that these changes need to be done manually by the app launch team.

  • Update Request required: To implement changes, you must submit an update request to the development team. Our team will then manually make these modifications on each developer account associated with your app.

  • In-App Subscriptions are Managed by End Users:

    • Only the app users can manage their subscriptions in device/account settings including:
      -View Subscription: Receipt for payment, date trial ends, next payment date
      -Cancel Subscription: User must cancel where subscription was purchased
      -Restore Purchase: If a user has active In-App Subscription but can't access content
      -Request a Refund: User wants a refund for In-App Subscription

Price Increase and 'Grandfathering':

  • Grandfathering: Some platforms provide the option to 'grandfather' users' pricing. This means that if you decide to increase the subscription price, existing subscribers will continue to pay the old, lower price. Only new users will be presented with the updated offer showcasing the higher price.

    NOTE: There's no option to grandfather existing subscribers if you're reducing the subscription price. All users will start to pay the new (reduced) price on their next billing date.

Price Decrease Implications:

  • Universal Price Change: Unlike price increases, if you opt to decrease the subscription price, all users, both existing and new, will be charged the new, reduced price. There's no option to maintain the old (higher) price for any segment of your user base.

Canceling In-app Subscriptions:

  • Dashboard Restrictions: App owners cannot cancel an In-app subscription on behalf of their subscribers directly from the Uscreen Dashboard.

  • Developer Account Variations: Some platforms, like Google, allow subscription cancellations via the developer account (in some cases). However, others, such as Amazon and Apple, do not provide this facility.
    Apple and Roku allow the dev account owner to remove a subscription from sales, which automatically cancels all the existing subscriptions.
    There are situations where the app users will need to be engaged to manually cancel their subscriptions.

Migrating Users Between In-App Subscriptions:

  • Migration Limitations: It's crucial to note that users cannot be migrated from one In-App subscription to another. Each subscription is treated as a distinct entity, and any changes to it must be managed individually.
    If you plan to change your in-app subscriptions (add new or remove existing ones) it is likely that your old subscription plans will need to stay untouched on Uscreen's dashboard to support your existing subscribers.

More resources (How To Guides to share with your users):


Managing app subscriptions requires a clear understanding of the platform-specific nuances and the inherent limitations. It's essential to be well-informed and to communicate any changes effectively with the App Launch Team and your user base. Always ensure that you're making decisions that align with both platform guidelines and the best interests of your subscribers.

Should you have any further queries or require assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to the App Launch Team or your Customer Success Manager.

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