Google now allows Spotify and Bumble to bill US users within apps
An Android statue is displayed in front of a building on the Google campus on January 31, 2022 in Mountain View, California. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will report fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday after the closing bell.
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Google Play and Apple’s App Store for iPhone typically account for between 15% and 30% of in-app digital sales through their billing platforms.
Allowing businesses to bill users’ credit cards directly in the app allows services like Spotify to reduce these fees. Google said in a support document that apps that bill users directly will still have to pay a percentage of their app sales to Google. Spotify will continue to accept subscription payments through Google Play billing.
“When a consumer chooses to use an alternative billing system, the service fee paid by the developer will be reduced by 4%,” support document He said.
Thursday’s move is a major concession from one of the major mobile app stores to allow for third-party billing and a significant difference in Google Play’s policies versus those of the Apple App Store. It’s also a sign that Spotify and Google have an alliance over App Store issues even as Spotify continues to fight with Apple over its rules.
However, Google’s change is not as drastic a move as some app makers have advocated. Developers want the ability to bill customers directly without paying a mobile app store withholding. Google’s Android operating system allows “sideloading” or the ability to install apps from sources other than Google Play.
Spotify has loudly backed away from App Store fees and rules, saying it anti-competitive. Most of his anger was directed at Apple.
Apple still does not allow direct billing in most of the countries in which it operates and has fought against it with regulators and courts. Owns Apple Similar program in South Korea To allow direct billing due to the regulations in that country. Apple says its App Store policies are important to user security and privacy.
Spotify praised Google’s decision In a blog post In which it said it began billing users directly for premium subscriptions in several countries around the world this week. “Google has taken a bold step to help level the playing field, but this is just the beginning,” the company said.
Google announced the policy change, called User Choice Billing, in March. The company calls it “experimental,” and expanded testing to the United States, Brazil and South Africa on Thursday in addition to previous regions including Australia, India and Europe.
Google said the beta is available for non-game apps that comply with its user interface guidelines for how to do billing.
In October, Spotify quarreled with Apple about one of its rules over whether it could create a button within its apps to email customers with a purchase link that bypasses cut off the Apple App Store, according to New York times.
Spotify stock rose less than 10% on Thursday. Bumble stock is up more than 10%. Google also gained more than 7% in Strong day for the markets After the lower-than-expected inflation report.
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