O Google wants more people to spend money on Play Store, so it is expanding the rewards program Play Points: it already operates in Japan and South Korea, and will arrive in the USA this week. You can earn points by downloading featured free apps, making in-app purchases, renting movies and subscribing to services.
In the US, users start by earning 1 point for every $ 1 spent on the Play Store. This goes for any purchase: paid apps and games, in-app items, movies, books, music and subscriptions. You can also earn points by downloading free apps featured in the store.
There are four levels, each with different benefits:
- Bronze: up to 149 points, $ 1 worth 1 point
- Silver: 150 to 599 points, $ 1 is worth 1.1 points, prizes every week
- Gold: 600 to 2,399 points, $ 1 is worth 1.2 points, prizes every week
- Platinum: above 3,000 points, $ 1 is worth 1.4 points, prizes every week, preferential support
Users will be able to level up and stay there until the end of 2020; at the end of next year, the count will be reset.
Google will also have weekly events to award more points: in this case, Bronze users will earn up to twice as much for movie rentals and book purchases; Silver users will take triple; and so on.
Google Play Points allows you to get credits or make a donation
You can spend these points within the Play Store itself, converting them to in-store credit – Google does not disclose the conversion rate – or using them directly in compatible apps, such as candy Crush Saga and Pokémon Go.
In addition, it is possible to make a donation to institutions such as Doctors without Borders, World Food Program and Save the Children. It is not possible to transfer points to other users, however.
Google Play Points will be available in the U.S. this week. The program was launched in Japan in September 2018, and in South Korea in April this year; “Millions of people” are already participating, according to the company.
It is no coincidence that Play Points was launched precisely in these markets: according to App Annie, the countries that spent the most money on the Play Store in 2018 were the USA, Japan and South Korea. Brazil does not appear in the top 10 in billing, but it is the second country with the highest number of app downloads, behind only India.
In addition, Google offers the Play Pass subscription in the U.S. for $ 4.99 a month: it brings together 350 Android games and apps without ads or in-app purchases. The catalog includes Monument Valley 2, Limbo, Terraria and Stardew Valley. There is still no forecast for launch in Brazil.
Countries with the highest number of downloads and highest spending on the App Store and Google Play in 2018, according to App Annie: