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Spotify and Google agree to implement user-choice billing

Spotify and Google have announced Wednesday that they have entered into a multiyear agreement that involves user-choice billing. For the first time ever, users who have downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will be able to choose between paying with Spotify’s payment system or Google Play Billing — two payment options that will live within the app.

Google said in its blog post that it chose Spotify as its “natural first partner” to explore the user-choice approach to billing, as the music platform is deemed to be one of the largest subscription developers with a global footprint and a wide range of integrations across various device form factors. On top of that, Spotify has been advocating for expanded payment options for quite some time, and it will be working with Google to see how user-choice billing works in different countries and with developers of various sizes and categories.

“Spotify is on a years-long journey to ensure app developers have the freedom to innovate and compete on a level playing field,” said Alex Norström, Spotify’s chief freemium business officer. “We’re excited to be partnering with Google to explore this approach to payment choice and opportunities for developers, users, and the entire internet ecosystem. We hope the work we’ll do together blazes a path that will benefit the rest of the industry.”

Spotify is one of a small number of app developers that will be allowed to offer its own billing to their subscribers, but Google didn’t mention what other apps will have that privilege. Google also didn’t give a specific timeline for implementing user-choice billing, nor did it mention which countries it will be rolled out to.

The user-choice billing move comes one day after Spotify announced it will move its live audio conversation product Greenroom to the main app and rebrand it as Spotify Live. That change will take place in the second quarter of 2022.

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