Monetization and Ads

Google Play supports a variety of monetization strategies to benefit developers and users, including paid distribution, in-app products, subscriptions, and ad-based models. To ensure the best user experience, we require you to comply with these policies.


Apps that employ in-store or in-app purchases must comply with the following guidelines:

In-store purchases: Developers charging for apps and downloads from Google Play must use Google Play’s payment system.

In-app purchases:

  • Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.
  • Developers offering products within another category of app downloaded on Google Play must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment, except for the following cases:
    • Payment is solely for physical products
    • Payment is for digital content that may be consumed outside of the app itself (e.g. songs that can be played on other music players).
  • In-app virtual currencies must only be used within the app where they were first purchased.
  • Developers must not mislead users about the apps they are selling nor about any in-app services, goods, content, or functionality offered for purchase. If your product description on Google Play refers to in-app features that may require a specific or additional charge, your description must clearly notify users that payment is required to access those features.
  • Apps offering mechanisms to receive randomized virtual items from a purchase (i.e. "loot boxes") must clearly disclose the odds of receiving those items in advance of purchase.

Here are some examples of products supported by Google Play In-app Billing:

  • Virtual game products, including coins, gems, extra lives or turns, special items or equipment, characters or avatars, additional levels or playtime.
  • App functionality or content, such as an ad-free version of an app or new features not available in the free version.
  • Subscription services, such as streaming music, video, book, or other media services; digital publications, including when bundled with a physical edition; and social networking services.
  • Cloud software products, including data storage services, business productivity software, and financial management software.

Here are some examples of products not currently supported by Google Play In-app Billing:

  • Retail merchandise, such as groceries, clothing, housewares, and electronics.
  • Service fees, including taxi and transportation services, cleaning services, food delivery, airfare, and event tickets.
  • One-time membership fees or recurring dues, including gym memberships, loyalty programs, or clubs offering accessories, clothing, or other physical products.
  • One time-payments, including peer-to-peer payments, online auctions, and donations.
  • Electronic bill payment, including credit card bills, utilities, and cable or telecommunications services.

Note that we offer the Google Pay API for apps selling physical products and services. For more information, please visit our Google Pay developer page.

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Subscriptions and Cancellations

If a user cancels a subscription purchased from an app on Google Play, our policy is that the user will not receive a refund for the current billing period, but will continue to receive their subscription content for the remainder of the current billing period, regardless of the cancellation date. The user's cancellation goes into effect after the current billing period has passed.

You (as the content or access provider) may implement a more flexible refund policy with your users directly. It is your responsibility to notify your users of any changes to your refund policies and ensure that the policies comply with applicable law.

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We don’t allow apps that contain deceptive or disruptive ads. Ads must only be displayed within the app serving them. We consider ads served in your app as part of your app. The ads shown in your app must be compliant with all our policies. For policies on gambling ads, please click here.


Deceptive Ads

Ads must not simulate or impersonate the user interface of any app, notification, or warning elements of an operating system. It must be clear to the user which app is serving each ad.

Here are some examples of common violations:

  • Ads that mimic an app's UI:

    ① The question mark icon in this app is an ad that takes the user to an external landing page.

  • Ads that mimic a system notification:

    ① ② The examples above illustrate ads mimicking various system notifications.


Lockscreen Monetization

Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.


Disruptive Ads

Ads should not be shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks. Forcing a user to click an ad or submit personal information for advertising purposes before they can fully use an app is prohibited.

Interstitial ads may only be displayed inside of the app serving them. If your app displays interstitial ads or other ads that interfere with normal use, they must be easily dismissable without penalty.

Here is an example of a common violation:

  • Ads that take up the entire screen or interfere with normal use and do not provide a clear means to dismiss the ad:

    ① This ad does not have a dismiss button.


Interfering with Apps, Third-party Ads, or Device Functionality

Ads associated with your app must not interfere with other apps, ads, or the operation of the device, including system or device buttons and ports. This includes overlays, companion functionality, and widgetized ad units. Ads must only be displayed within the app serving them.

Here are some examples of common violations:

  • Ads that display outside of the app serving them:

    Description: The user navigates to the home screen from this app, and suddenly an ad appears on the homescreen.

  • Ads that are triggered by the home button or other features explicitly designed for exiting the app:

    Description: The user attempts to exit the app and navigate to the home screen, but instead, the expected flow is interrupted by an ad.


Inappropriate Ads

The ads shown within your app must be appropriate for the intended audience of your app, even if the content by itself is otherwise compliant with our policies.

Here is an example of a common violation:

  • ① This ad is inappropriate for the intended audience of this app.

Usage of Android Advertising ID

Google Play Services version 4.0 introduced new APIs and an ID for use by advertising and analytics providers. Terms for the use of this ID are below.

  • Usage. The Android advertising identifier must only be used for advertising and user analytics. The status of the “Opt out of Interest-based Advertising” or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” setting must be verified on each access of the ID.
  • Association with personally-identifiable information or other identifiers. The advertising identifier must not be connected to personally-identifiable information or associated with any persistent device identifier (for example: SSAID, MAC address, IMEI, etc.) without explicit consent of the user.
  • Respecting users' selections. If reset, a new advertising identifier must not be connected to a previous advertising identifier or data derived from a previous advertising identifier without the explicit consent of the user. Also, you must abide by a user’s “Opt out of Interest-based Advertising” or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” setting. If a user has enabled this setting, you may not use the advertising identifier for creating user profiles for advertising purposes or for targeting users with personalized advertising. Allowed activities include contextual advertising, frequency capping, conversion tracking, reporting and security and fraud detection.
  • Transparency to users. The collection and use of the advertising identifier and commitment to these terms must be disclosed to users in a legally adequate privacy notification. To learn more about our privacy standards, please review our User Data policy.
  • Abiding by the terms of use. The advertising identifier may only be used in accordance with these terms, including by any party that you may share it with in the course of your business. All apps uploaded or published to Google Play must use the advertising ID (when available on a device) in lieu of any other device identifiers for any advertising purposes.

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Ad Network Certification

If you serve ads in your app, and your app targets only children, then you must use one of Google Play's certified ad networks. If your app targets both children and older users, you must implement age screening measures and make sure that ads shown to children come exclusively from one of Google Play's certified ad networks.

Ad Network Certification Requirements

  • Define what are objectionable ad content and behaviors and prohibit them in the ad network's terms or policies. The definitions should not result in non-compliance with Play's Developer Program Policies.
  • Create a method to rate your ad creatives according to age appropriate groups, including at least groups for Everyone and Mature. The rating methodology must align with the methodology that Google supplies to certified networks.
  • Allow publishers, on a per-request or per-app basis, to request child-directed treatment for ad serving. Such treatment must be in compliance with at least the US Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including but not limited to:
    • restricting the collection and/or use of personal data;
    • disabling personalized ads.
  • Provide Google with sufficient information to verify the ad network's compliance with all certification requirements, and respond in a timely manner to any subsequent requests for information.

Note: Ad networks must support ad serving that complies with all relevant statutes and regulations concerning children that may apply to their publishers.

Mediation requirements for serving platforms when serving ads to children:

  • only use Play certified ad networks or implement safeguards necessary to ensure that all ads served from mediation networks comply with these requirements; and
  • pass signals necessary to indicate the ad content rating and any applicable child-directed treatment.

Developers can find a list of certified ad networks here.

Also, developers can share this interest form with ad networks who wish to become certified.

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