Google has again adjusted the fee structure for apps hosted on the Google Play app store, once again giving certain developers a bigger slice of the pie. The change specifically affects apps that rely on recurring subscription revenue.
Previously, Google took a 30 percent discount the first year an ongoing subscription was active, then 15 percent in subsequent years. Now Google will cut just 15 percent from the get-go.
Some apps that fit into the Play Media Experience Program, such as those for distributing books or streaming video or audio, will see even smaller cuts, as much as 10 percent. To participate in that program, developers must sign up.
In March, Google cut its share of revenue from upfront or in-app purchases from 30 percent to 15 percent on the first $1 million a year an app developer earns. The change was made shortly after Apple introduced a similar change to the App Store, although Google’s deal was a bit more attractive. (Apple’s App Store cost structure for in-app subscriptions is still close to the one that replaces Google in the Play Store.)
But this new change to the subscription fee structure is not tied to total revenue; it is universal.
There are several reasons for the move. Like Apple, Google faces increasing regulatory control over how it manages its app store and its relationship with third-party developers. Google may be hoping its business and public image will be helped by the change.
Furthermore, as TechCrunch reports, Google has been trying to sue for a while and attract more developers who create media and read apps.
The new rate structure will come into effect on January 1, 2022.