App Subscriptions: Enabling New App Categories and Ongoing Support

Oculus Developer Blog
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Posted by Oculus VR
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April 15, 2021
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Quest

Starting today, Quest apps on the Oculus Store can offer subscriptions for new, exclusive, and bundled content for a recurring payment via our new subscription API.

Many games and apps are built as services, with ongoing support and frequent content updates. Subscriptions enable you to run this sort of service business. There are already several applications in VR today operating on a service model. We believe that subscriptions will also enable new categories of games and apps to be successful on our platform. In particular we expect considerable new opportunities for social, productivity, and fitness apps.

With our new on-platform solution, we’ve streamlined the user onboarding flow by reducing the friction to sign up and access subscription content. Subscriptions, like other in-app purchases, can be purchased within your app on the Quest headset. There are three types of subscriptions you can offer:

  • Free base app with a required paid subscription to access all content

  • Free base app with an optional subscription to access premium content

  • Paid base app with an optional subscription to access premium content

You can offer 7-day, 14-day or 30-day free trials. After the trial ends, subscribers will be auto-enrolled in a recurring monthly subscription. We’ll continue to add features to subscriptions including multi-month offers and different subscription tiers in the future. Customers can manage their subscriptions in their headset’s account settings, via the Oculus App, or web.

Please note that subscriptions do not support App Sharing. If there are multiple accounts using one headset, only the account where the subscription was purchased can access the subscription content. In addition, we do not support subscriptions for App Lab applications.

To see examples of this new system in action, check out the apps that launched subscription offers today:

The design of our subscription service is based directly on feedback from the developer community. “FitXR had always intended to follow a subscription model to enable us to continually update and add new features, and now via Oculus, that is a reality,” said Sam Cole, Co-Founder and CEO of FitXR. “Oculus launching subscriptions represents a coming of age moment for VR, as developers can provide significantly more value to their customers. As part of the membership model, FitXR is offering an unequaled virtual fitness club, challenging traditional ways of thinking about fitness. The partnership with Oculus makes this all possible.”

How to Get Started

Subscriptions are configured as in-app purchases (IAP). Subscription entitlements are sold to the customer using our existing payments API. Once entitled, subscriptions can be verified via our existing API within your app, or from a server using our new S2S Subscriptions API.

To create a subscription offer, go to the developer dashboard:

  • Select the app you want to add subscriptions for. Navigate from “Platform Services” > “Subscriptions” > “Create Subscription.”

  • Enter in all the appropriate fields such as Name, SKU, Short Description, Subscription Term, Option for Free Trial, and Price. Click “Submit.”

  • Once created, your subscription will appear in the “In Progress” tab as a draft.

Once you've created your subscription offer, you'll need to let us know which IAP items that subscription is associated to:

  • On the “In Progress” tab, click on the name of the app > “Linked Content” > “Manage Linked Content.” Here, add the IAP you wish to have entitled with your subscription. Click “Publish."

  • Click the “Submit” tab. Add your notes. Click “Submit for Review” to submit your subscriptions.

For more information, please see our documentation.

Since announcing App Subscriptions at Facebook Connect in 2020, we’ve been eager to bring this new method of monetization to developers. We believe App Subscriptions will enable new business models which in turn enables new categories of apps and use cases to be successful on our platform. We’re excited for the developers who are launching their subscription offers today and we’re looking forward to more developers leveraging this new tool. We will continue to listen for feedback and add new features over time. If you have questions, comments or feedback about App Subscriptions, let us know in the Developer Forums.