Google seeks Play Store revenue boost with app trials, says report

google play store games

If Google has its way, you’ll be able to play around with that latest game without needing to fully download it.

That’s one possible initiative Google is considering to boost revenue from its Play Store, according to a report in The Information.

The story cites a source “close to the discussions,” who says the feature is designed to lure in more app buyers. The theory is that Android owners may be more willing to check out an app if they don’t have to wait for it to download or use up as much precious data on their plans. More exploration could lead to increased downloads, and ultimately greater revenue for Google and its partners.

The story behind the story: While Google’s Play Store has continued to close the gap with Apple’s App Store, Google still isn’t satisfied. According to the report, only 10 percent of Google Play visitors paid for any content in the last year. 

Google did pay out $5 billion to app developers between May 2013 and June of this year. The problem is that’s half of what Apple paid out in the same time period, even though Android had 50 percent more app downloads through its Play Store. 

Another problem is app quality. Many developers put their first and often best versions out on iOS, believing they are more likely to make money and suffer less headaches from Android’s fragmentation.

The China question

Another major roadblock for Google is the Play Store is difficult to find in China, which has become the number one market for Android phones. Google has been talking with Chinese officials about getting wider access, but hasn’t finalized a deal. One likely issue is finding agreement on content restrictions with China, which is quick to pull the censorship switch.

The international front is looking better in India and other developing nations where Google has partnered with handset makers for its Android One phones. They cost around $100 and run stock Android, with updates directly from Google and content offerings from Google Play. However, Google will have to see how much money Android One owners may be willing to spend on apps and other content.

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