Google Follows Apple's Lead By Reducing Play Store Fee for App Subscriptions

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Google revealed on Thursday that it would follow Apple's lead in lowering the amount of money app developers must pay for mobile subscriptions processed through the company's Play Store (via The Verge).

Adoption of the subscription model by iOS developers has increased over recent months, causing some controversy within the app-using community. Apple incentivized developers to sell their apps for a recurring fee instead of a one-time cost when it made changes to its App Store subscription policies in September of last year.

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Usually, Apple takes 30 percent of app revenue, but developers who are able to maintain a subscription with a customer longer than a year see Apple's cut drop down to 15 percent.

Google is adopting the same policy for subscriptions in its Play Store – an Android developer selling a subscription service will be eligible for the cut if the customer in question has been subscribed for more than a year. The company plans to bring the change into effect starting January 2018.

As The Verge notes, Google is trying to stay competitive with Apple by offering a reduction in its fees. This way the company ensures that subscription services like Spotify don't try to bypass the Play Store in an effort to avoid paying the fee. But it also encourages developers to work harder to keep users subscribed for longer, given that the free reduction doesn't take effect until 12 months into the initial subscription.

Top Rated Comments

vicviper789 Avatar
43 months ago
I understand Devs need to keep an income stream but every time a paid app switches to subscription without putting it in the changelog, I immediately delete and never look back.
Geocaching, Hi-Definitely Radar, and several other apps pulled this. It's not as big of an issue when a free app switched to subscription but I paid for those and felt robbed when they wanted me to pay for what I already paid for.

$1-$10 a month isn't that bad on its own but when I have 20-30 apps nagging for monthly payments (especially after I paid for the original, full featured version) it gets pretty expensive.

There are a ton of cool apps I would love to use but ended up not buying a iPad pro because of the subscriptions for all these apps (and the $50 price increase).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ethanwa79 Avatar
43 months ago

I understand Devs need to keep an income stream but every time a paid app switches to subscription without putting it in the changelog, I immediately delete and never look back.
Geocaching, Hi-Definitely Radar, and several other apps pulled this. It's not as big of an issue when a free app switched to subscription but I paid for those and felt robbed when they wanted me to pay for what I already paid for.

$1-$10 a month isn't that bad on its own but when I have 20-30 apps nagging for monthly payments (especially after I paid for the original, full featured version) it gets pretty expensive.

There are a ton of cool apps I would love to use but ended up not buying a iPad pro because of the subscriptions for all these apps (and the $50 price increase).

As a long-time iOS app developer myself I can sympathize with you. Our company is going through the same problems right now where we may switch to a subscription model.

Honestly, we wish there was a better way, but when users get mad and complain that our full-featured app that took more than a few years to make costs the same as a McDonalds Happy Meal, it's frustrating for the developer. It's almost just not worth it (almost), especially for niche apps.

I wish Apple would allow devs to charge for major updates (2.0 -> 3.0) in an easier way beyond just releasing an entirely new app to the store.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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