Google (almost) on the same page as Apple. In a blog post published on September 28, the Mountain View company explains that developers distributing their application through its Play Store will have to comply with the rule of 30% commission on their sales.
This rule already existed in the Google app store, but was not actually enforced. Developers have until September 30, 2021 to comply. Both subscriptions and app or in-app purchases will therefore be subject to this commission.
3% of infringing applications
The company explains that 97% of apps follow this rule and use Google’s payment system. But even without naming them, we know that the remaining 3% represents a huge part of the turnover generated through the Store; like Spotify or Netflix which ask for their customers’ bank details rather than going through Google’s payment API.
But there the parallel with Apple ends. Google allows developers to distribute their APK directly without going through the Play Store. Even if they do not use the Google payment system, they keep control of the data of their subscribers to contact them directly and offer them, for example, promotions; which the App Store does not allow. Finally, the Play Store also distributes applications that are also third-party stores, such as the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Google is still taking a risk to clarify the rules of its Play Store and put pressure on key developers. Apple is currently facing a sling of some apps that refuse to pay those 30% commissions. This is particularly the case with Spotify, whose complaint led to the opening of an investigation by the European Commission.