Users gain access to a resource by completing terms. Terms come in many forms, the most standard of which is a single payment or subscription. Piano allows for much more than just payments for access to content, however. For instance, a user can register in exchange for access to content, or you can grant access for any action that takes place in an external system by calling our API.

You can also create custom terms, which allows you to connect your system to ours and enables you to define the term needed in order to gain access - like a print subscription, or purchase of a subscription within a mobile application. You can add as many terms as necessary to a given resource.

The last step to configuring a premium experience for your users is to choose which terms will be presented to your audience, when they’ll be presented, and how they’ll look.


There are four different term types in Piano.

Payment Term

The payment term is the most basic term to understand in Piano. When this term is configured, access to a resource is only granted when a user makes a purchase.

A payment term can be setup to support your site-wide recurring subscription or even a simple 24-hour pass to your site.

Terms can be created via the dashboard menu under Manage → Terms or via our REST API.

The payment term can be setup as a recurring, subscription-style payment or a single fixed period. Recurring configurations allows support trial periods, free trial periods, and grace periods. Example term configuration are:

  • $0.99 24-hour day pass
  • $5.00 for one month (fixed)
  • $5.00 per month (subscription)

Registration Term

The registration term allows you to grant access to users in return for registering on your site. You can specify the amount of access that the user gets, as well as whether or not to restrict the time frame in which the user has to complete the term after registration to be eligible.

Externally Verified Term

The externally verified term allows you to check entitlements in an external system and grant access inside of Piano on success. Contact us for more details on which external systems Piano integrates with specifically.

Custom Term

The custom term allows you to grant access to users when someone completes an event outside of the purview of Piano. In this case, you are in control of the events that trigger access as well as extending that user's access. There is no recurring nature to access derived from custom terms.