Google to Pilot Third-Party Payments Alongside Play’s Own Payments, Starting With Spotify

Sameer Samat, writing for Google’s Android Developers Blog:

Building on our recent launch allowing an additional billing system alongside Play’s billing for users in South Korea and in line with our principles, we are announcing we will be exploring user choice billing in other select countries. This pilot will allow a small number of participating developers to offer an additional billing option next to Google Play’s billing system and is designed to help us explore ways to offer this choice to users, while maintaining our ability to invest in the ecosystem.

We’ll be partnering with developers to explore different implementations of user-choice billing, starting with Spotify.

From Spotify’s own announcement:

Spotify has been publicly advocating for platform fairness and expanded payment options, among other things, because fair and open platforms enable better consumer experiences and allow developers to grow and thrive — when this happens everyone wins.

Gee, I wonder which platforms — there are so many that Spotify really cares about — they consider unfair.

Sarah Perez, reporting for TechCrunch on the deal:

Reached for comment, Spotify declined to say what sort of commission it would be paying Google as a part of this pilot test, noting that the agreement was confidential. But a company spokesperson suggested that the commercial terms met Spotify’s “standards of fairness.”

Google also declined to detail the commission structure involved. However, it noted that user choice billing, such as is the case in South Korea, will still involve a service fee regardless of which billing system the user chooses.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022