Google is cutting Play Store fees in half for most developers
Google just announced a major change to its app store policy. This summer, Google is cutting its Play Store fees in half.
In a blog post, Google says that it is “reducing the service fee Google Play receives when a developer sells digital goods or services to 15% for the first $1M (USD) of revenue every developer earns each year.” According to Google, this will mean that 99% of developers globally who sell goods and services on Google Play will see “a 50% reduction in fees.” Google says they chose $1M (USD) as the threshold because “we’ve heard from our partners making $2M, $5M and even $10M a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit.”
Today’s announcement by Google follows a similar move made by Apple late last year. In November of 2020, Apple also cut its revenue sharing fee to 15% for developers making less than $1M in yearly revenue. However, there’s one key difference between Apple and Google’s policies. Apple takes a 30% cut if a developer’s annual revenue ever surpasses $1M in a year, whereas Google’s Play Store fees only reach 30% for any earned revenue that exceeds $1M.
Interestingly, today’s news comes after Google actually doubled down on its 30% app store fee in late September. Google’s earlier doubling down came after multiple companies filed complaints that the app store fee from both companies is too high. These complaints have been around for years but reached an all-time high over the past few months due to the actions of Fortnite-maker Epic Games. The actions of Epic Games have led to multiple legal and sometimes legislative challenges to the dominance of Apple and Google’s app stores. While none of these challenges have won out in courts or resulted in legislative changes, it seems they’ve pushed Google and Apple to finally make some changes before they’re forced to.
While today’s news likely won’t satisfy the bigger players asking for smaller Play Store fees, it will be welcomed by indie developers who aren’t happy with giving up 30% of an already small amount of revenue they generate each year.
Shortly after this article was published, a spokesperson for Epic Games reached out with a statement on today’s news:
“While a reduction in the Google app tax may alleviate a small part of the financial burden developers have been shouldering, this does not address the root of the issue. Whether it’s 15% or 30%, for apps obtained through the Google Play Store, developers are forced to use Google’s in-app payment services. Android needs to be fully open to competition, with a genuinely level playing field among platform companies, app creators, and service providers. Competition in payment processing and app distribution is the only path to a fair app marketplace.”