(I’d like to introduce Trevor – the Product Manager for our BlackBerry® Payment Service. Trevor’s here today to talk about the launch of BlackBerry Payment Service 1.5! – AK)
This past January we introduced the BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.0, which provided new ways to monetize applications through the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. Since then, many developers have leveraged the SDK to start accepting in-application purchases, and today we are excited to announce a great extension to the SDK that will enable developers to start offering subscription-based services. Starting with BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5, developers will now be able to offer auto-renewing subscriptions for applications and in-application digital goods.
The BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5 builds on the existing API from 1.0, so it is designed to allow developers to quickly add subscriptions without having to learn a new API. The new SDK provides APIs to check for the status of a subscription and the ability to cancel subscriptions. BlackBerry Payment Service manages the subscription renewals automatically and sends out renewal reminders and receipts to users. Please note that applications with subscription services will require users to have the recently released BlackBerry App World 3.0 installed on their device.
Subscriptions are offered with 7-day or 30-day renewal periods, and all recurring billing is automatically handled by BlackBerry App World. Developers also have the flexibility to offer a free or reduced price “trial period” to entice users to test-drive the subscription. Users can pay for subscriptions using PayPal®, Credit Card and Carrier Billing (as available for their country and carrier), which gives users the same payment options they already enjoy today in BlackBerry App World.
This new subscription feature could be used to offer premium content like a newspaper or magazine or provide access to a cloud-based service. A great example of this is the recently announced BBM™ Music – a new social music sharing and discovery service. BBM Music uses the BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5 to offer a monthly subscription to an easy-to-use cloud-based service; this enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.
With the introduction of BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5, developers now have access to a new business model for their application and can easily move to a “freemium” model if they choose. Premium features or content can now easily be offered on a subscription basis. This has benefits for both the customer and the developer. The customer can take advantage of the service for a free or lower up-front cost, and the developer receives a more predictable revenue stream. BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5 is designed to take care of the heavy lifting required to offer subscriptions so our developers can continue to focus on providing great content.