Google has made another change to the fee structure for apps hosted on the Google Play app store, again granting certain developers a larger slice of the pie. The new change specifically affects apps that rely on recurring subscription revenue.
Previously, Google took a cut of 30 percent in the first year a recurring subscription was active, then 15 percent in years after that. Now, Google will take a cut of only 15 percent from the very start.
Some apps that fit the Play Media Experience Program, such as apps for distributing books or streaming video or audio, will see even lower cuts—as low as 10 percent. To join that particular program, developers have to opt in.
Back in March, Google cut its share of revenue on upfront or in-app purchases from 30 percent to 15 percent on the first $1 million per year that an app developer earns. The change was made very shortly after Apple introduced a similar change for its own App Store, though Google’s deal was a little more attractive. (Apple’s App Store fee structure for in-app subscriptions is still similar to the one Google is replacing on the Play store.)
But this new change to the subscription fee structure isn’t tied to overall revenue; it’s universal.
There are several reasons for the change. Like Apple, Google is facing mounting regulatory scrutiny about how it manages its apps store and its relationship with third-party developers. Google may hope that its case and public image will be helped by the change.
Further, as TechCrunch reports, Google has for a while now been trying to court and attract more developers making media and reading apps.
The new fee structure will begin on January 1, 2022.