Subscriptions API FAQs


Below is a list of FAQ's for Planet's Subscriptions API.


What is the Subscriptions API? 

The Subscriptions API is a new data delivery API you can use to subscribe to continuous cloud delivery of new Planet imagery and metadata collections. You can read more on our Developer Center here.


What is the benefit of using the Subscriptions API? 

Today, building a pipeline to deliver daily imagery over an area of interest requires complex orchestration – a sequence of search calls via the Data API (to search for newly acquired or archive imagery) and ordering calls via the Orders API (to chunk out the search results and order them). 

With the Subscriptions API, you can do just that with a single API call. With the Subscriptions API you can supply a search filter and a cloud delivery location, and we will continuously process and deliver the data to you as soon as it’s published. 

This API is ideal for ordering daily imagery over stable areas of interest.


Does the Subscriptions API cost anything to use? 

No, the Subscriptions API is free to use for any Planet user with imagery download quota.


How does the Subscriptions API work? 

In your subscription you can include item filter criteria (like area of interest, time range, cloud cover filter) and a cloud storage location. You can also optionally supply raster processing tools to your subscription. The API will then automatically deliver imagery to you when items are published which meet your filter criteria. You can read more on how the API works here.


Can I order archive imagery with the Subscriptions API? 

Yes, you are able to order archive imagery with the Subscriptions API. You can read more on how to do so here


How many active Subscriptions can I have? 

An “active” subscription is one where the end_time has not passed.

Subscriptions API use will be limited to a maximum count of active subscriptions and a maximum total count of expected items delivered daily across all forwardfill portions of a subscriptions.

For forwardfill poritions, you’ll be able to set up automated delivery of up to 1,000 items a day. To hit this limit, you can create up to 1,000 single-item subscriptions, or you could have a single subscription over a broad area of interest which matches (on average) 1,000 items a day. 

Backfill portions of subscriptions will be limited to 5 years of archive delivery from the defined start_time

The Subscriptions API enforces these limits by leveraging the Data API Search Stats endpoint. When a new subscription is created, the Subscriptions API runs a Data API Search Stats call on the subscription’s source filter. The Search Stats call returns the number of items published which met the subscription’s source filter criteria over the last seven days. The Subscriptions API then averages that number and stores it as that subscription’s “expected number of items delivered daily”. 

These limits are validated when a subscription is created. If an organization exceeds its limits, all existing active subscriptions will continue to deliver imagery and will not be suspended or cancelled. Only new subscriptions will not be able to be created.

Additionally, if an organization has insufficient quota, new subscriptions will not be able to be created, however, active systems will not be suspended or cancelled.

If you are downloading larger amounts of data and need to be able to subscribe to more than 1,000 items per day, please reach out to and we can reconfigure your limits. 


Can I clip data with the Subscriptions API? 

Yes, if you have access to clipping via our Preferred or Premium Raster Tools packages, you will be able to clip data via the Subscriptions API. 


Can I use the Subscriptions API to automatically subscribe to my Tasking orders? 

A “Catalog” Subscription type will subscribe you to automated delivery of all the data over an area of interest which meets your filter criteria, and which you have permission to download.

 As such: 

  • If you are a Flexible Tasking customer only, i.e. you only have permission to download the SkySat imagery you task, the Subscriptions API is a good way to set-up automated delivery for tasking orders. You can set up a Subscription over the same area of interest you plan to task within, and will automatically receive all imagery you tasked. 
  • However, if you are a SkySat Archive customer, or both a SkySat Archive and Flexible Tasking customer, the Subscriptions API may not be the right fit for you, because any imagery which meets your filter criteria and which you have permission to download will be delivered to you. This means that depending on how you configure your Subscription (i.e. if you set it up over a large area of interest), you may unintentionally receive and be charged for imagery tasked by other Planet users. If you choose to use the Subscriptions API for automated tasking order delivery, we recommend placing more controlled geographic and time of interest restrictions on your subscription to ensure you don’t receive imagery you did not intend. At this time you cannot limit a subscription to “my tasking orders only”. 

Can I still order Planet data from the Orders API or Data API? 

Yes, both the Orders API and Data API will continue to function as they do today.

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