Skip to main content

Google drops developer fees in the Play Store to as low as 10%

Google today announced new moves to make selling on the Play Store more attractive to developers. Currently, the company charges 30% for all subscription sales, then drops it to 15% after a year. Starting in 2022, developers will now be charged 15% on payments from the first day, while Google also moves to reduce fees for apps registered under the Play Media Experience Program to 10%.

“Digital subscriptions have become one of the fastest-growing models for developers, but we know that subscription businesses face specific challenges in customer acquisition and retention. We’ve worked with our partners in dating, fitness, education and other sectors to understand the nuances of their businesses,” Google’s Sameer Samat, vice president of product management, explained in an announcement. “Our current service fee drops from 30% to 15% after 12 months of a recurring subscription. But we’ve heard that customer churn makes it challenging for subscription businesses to benefit from that reduced rate. So, we’re simplifying things to ensure they can.”

Play Store apps.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The new fee structure kicks in January 1, 2022, and will benefit 99% of developers, Google says. This means that if you purchase a subscription from the Play Store after that date, Google will only charge the developer 15% of the total payment right from the start. Google will also make a change to apps and services under the Play Media Experience program. These apps were built with support for cross-platform experiences such as Google TV, Android Auto, Google Wear, and Google Cast in exchange for a reduced fee of 15%. Starting January 1, 2022, that fee will drop to as low as 10%,

Google’s new moves come after efforts from developers to challenge the Play Store and Apple App Store’s 30% fees as onerous. The company had made many preemptive moves in this regard, lowering the commission it charged for small businesses (earning under $1 million annually) to 15%. It wasn’t enough to stop some countries like South Korea from ordering it to open up its Play Store to alternate payment mechanisms, but moves like this will go a long way in quelling further dissatisfaction from developers and content providers. Google cites Bumble and Duolingo as examples of partners who have responded positively to this change.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
I used to love the Google Pixel Fold. Now, I’m not so sure
Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian in hand in coffee shop.

A few years ago, the dominant player in the foldable market was Samsung, at least in the U.S. However, 2023 seemed to be the year of folding phones, as Google entered the fray in July 2023 with its very first foldable, the Google Pixel Fold.

One of the problems I have with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series is the narrow cover screen, which makes it awkward to type and use when closed. But the Google Pixel Fold was appealing to me because the cover display was essentially the same size as a standard phone's, so it felt easier to use. I also like that it opens up like a book. I gave the Pixel Fold an overall positive review as a  result of all those things.

Read more
Google just redesigned one of its biggest apps, and it’s bad
Google Chat app on the Play Store.

Google Chat — Google's business-oriented messaging platform that is similar to Slack and Microsoft Teams — just got a big update for its Android and iOS apps. The update dramatically changes how you navigate the app and, uh, well, it sure is something.

Google Chat's mobile app used to be broken up into two pages: Chat (direct messages between you and other users) and Spaces (larger chat rooms for multiple people). As with most apps, you switched between these with a navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.

Read more
Google is finally fixing an annoying issue with its Pixel phones
A person holding the Google Pixel 8, showing the back of the phone.

When Android 7.0 Nougat arrived in 2016, Google introduced a new seamless update system that allowed users to keep using their devices while the update was installed in the background. Down the road, Google made it mandatory for all smartphone makers, and it's most prevalent on Google's own Pixel smartphones. But the system was not without its fault — even on the latest Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices.

Now, it seems like the latest Android 14 QPR update has considerably sped things up and fixed problems plaguing the whole update pipeline. What are seamless updates, though? It involves an A/B disk partition strategy, which ensures that you can keep using your phone while an update is installed in the background.  The only time you'll notice something's up is when it reboots to switch to the updated version. After an update, rebooting your device is just as fast as a normal restart without much extra waiting.

Read more