Spotify is the first to launch non-Google Android billing in the US

Spotify is the first to launch non-Google Android billing in the US

The Monopoly backgammon logo, complete with Uncle Pennybags, has been transformed, Google says.
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Google is slowly loosening its grip on billing on Google Play. In March, the company announced a pilot program “User Choice Billing‘, which will give users the option to buy things on Google Play through a third-party payment processor. In some countries, the beta has launched in September, with Google acquiring developer subscriptions in the European Economic Area, Australia, India, Indonesia and Japan. Today the feature is finally coming to the US, with Google announcing To the United States, Brazil and South Africa.

As announced in March, Google’s first partner in this project is one of its largest clients, Spotify, which owns Post her blog Announcing the feature roll out this week. The Play Store has always asked developers to use Google Play Billing exclusively for app payments, but big companies like Spotify and Netflix I ignored those rules For years, they apparently decided they were too old to be banned. For years, they were right, but Google announced that they would Really getting started Its rules, even for big companies, are in 2022. When the March deadline arrived, so did the announcement of user choice bills, with Spotify being the number one partner, so it’s not clear if Google actually managed to get Spotify to follow the rules.

Spotify first gives you options for

Spotify first gives you options for ‘Spotify’ or ‘Google Play’, and clicking on the ‘Spotify’ button lets you type in a credit card or use PayPal.

Spotify has a picture of what officially approved user choice bills will look like, with the “Google Play” and “Spotify” payment buttons next to each other on the sign-out page. Clicking the Spotify button brings up options for writing a credit card directly or using PayPal. Spotify says it’s “first to try” user choice billing with this launch, and Google says dating app Bumble is the second app approved for alternative billing.

Google’s blog post ridiculously frames multiple payment options as sort of a great first-of-its-kind experience that hasn’t been done before. Google says it wants to “understand the complexities” of having a second payment option and needs to “test and iterate different applications” for credit card processing. Every other online checkout screen has had a PayPal button for about 20 years, so perhaps some of that experience will help Google navigate this mysterious, uncharted territory. Google says the “initial beta implementation” of Spotify’s PayPal button “will likely evolve over time as they continue to iterate and learn.”

Google Infographic for "User Choice Billing" Countries.
Zoom / Google infographic for User Choice Billing Countries.

The changing goals for alternative App Store billing mean that it’s not clear if anything has really been done here. The original motivation for alternative payments was to dodge Google (and Apple’s) App Store fees, which take anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of a developer’s revenue. While Google and Apple legally binding To open up payment processing in some countries, the mobile duopoly ignored the spirit of those provisions and It didn’t really budge on the fees it charges. For third-party payment systems, both app store owners only reduced their commissions by 3 to 4 percent, which is roughly the cost for credit card processing. The original goal of “save developers money” was not achieved, they only have the option to spend 3 percent elsewhere.

With its launch today in the US, Brazil and South Africa, Google says user choice billing is now available in 35 countries. You’ll need an app that’s already approved for the program, though, and Spotify says it’s launching the feature in “select markets.”

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