Following in Apple’s footsteps, Google has revealed that it will reduce Play Store fees to 15 percent from 30 percent for developer revenue earned through the platform up to $1 million USD (roughly $1.2 million CAD).
Google’s blog post states that 99 percent of developers that sell goods and services in the Play store will experience a “50 percent reduction in fees.”
Google says it selected the $1 million USD threshold because it’s “heard from our partners making $2 million, $5 million and even $10 million a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit.” The change will go into effect as of July 1st.
Apple made a similar change in November of last year, cutting its revenue share fee to 15 percent for developers making less than $1 million USD in annual revenue. Once a developer makes over $1 million, they’re moved back up to the 30 percent rate.
“While these investments are most critical when developers are in the earlier stages of growth, scaling an app doesn’t stop once a partner has reached $1M in revenue,” writes Google.
It’s scary for the tech industry to that see Google and Apple aligning their monopolistic policies in near lock-step. In a free app market, rates would be much lower for all due to competition, and not subject to their divide-and-conquer tactics.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) March 16, 2021
These policy changes come as both Google’s and Apple’s App Stores are under heavy criticism, in part spurred by Epic Games’ Fortnite-focused antitrust lawsuits against the two tech giants. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney quickly responded negatively to Google’s move, saying that tech giants are “aligning their monopolistic policies in near lock-step.”
While this change to the way the Play Store typically operates likely won’t satisfy large-scale developers, indie studios will be happy to be able to fork over less revenue to Google.