Google Lowers More Play Store Developer Fees

Posted on October 21, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Google with 9 Comments

Unlike Apple, Google has seen the light: It is dramatically lowering the fees that it charges for subscription and media apps in its Play Store for Android.

After learning from and listening to developers across many industries and regions, including developers like Anghami, AWA, Bumble, Calm, Duolingo, KADOKAWA, KKBOX, Picsart, and Smule, we’re announcing changes to further support our ecosystem of partners and help them build sustainable businesses, and ensure Play continues to lead in the mobile app ecosystem,” Google vice president Sameer Samat writes in the announcement post.

There are two fee changes.

First, the service fee for subscriptions purchased inside of an app is dropping from 30 percent to 15 percent. This change goes into effect on January 1, 2022.

Second, Google is lowering the service fee for media apps, which are e-book readers, on-demand music streaming services, and the like, to as low as 10 percent.

“The new rates recognize industry economics of media content verticals and make Google Play work better for developers and the communities of artists, musicians, and authors they represent,” Google notes, though I suspect all of the regulatory scrutiny and antitrust rulings against the firm had more of an impact.

You can learn more about the new fee structures here. But this isn’t the first major change that the firm has made in the face of worldwide pressure. This past March, Google agreed to lower its app store fees from 30 percent to 15 percent for the vast majority of developers—those who earn less than $1 million in revenues each year—copying a similar move by Apple. The difference this time, of course, is that these changes impact all developers, including the biggest.

Will this be enough to appease regulators? Honestly, I doubt it. But it’s a major step in the right direction. And one that Apple should take as well.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Google Lowers More Play Store Developer Fees”

  1. lvthunder

    I thought Apple already charged 15% for subscriptions. Is that correct?

    • dftf

      I thought it was 30% in year one, then it drops to 15%. If you cancel a subscription, but later resume one for that same app or service, I'm not-sure if that means 30% again in year one, or it resumes at 15%...

  2. bschnatt

    I just love how this has played out:

    1) We take 30% - take it or leave it!

    2) Regulators start snooping around

    2b) We're lowering our fee to only 15% because we love you and love developers and musicians and want to make it easier to build your business!


    Notice I used "2b)" instead of "3)". Without 2, there would be no 2b...

  3. lezmaka

    These changes shouldn't matter to regulators. Just because they stopped doesn't mean they shouldn't face consequences for what they already did.

  4. nbplopes

    As long as these App Stores are tied to the OS in ways creating obstacles to users in acquiring and installing apps directly from the producers or other venues is still too much.


    One of the benefits of the digital revolution was and is direct sales. Apple and Google are doing everything possible to take that benefit for both customers, builders and digital service providers, forcing themselves as the middleman … leveraging on tangent businesses such as devices and OSs.

  5. dftf

    It's a pity they can't offer lower-prices on the consumer-end.


    YouTube Premium (formerly "YouTube Red") is £11.99 a month in the UK for a personal-account (£17.99 for family), which may not sound a lot but given pretty-much every subscription service thesedays is around £10 a month, they soon all add-up.


    For £11.99 a month you get no ads; offline videos; background playback; YouTube Music Premium; and YouTube Originals. I've no-interest in the last two, and you can already get offline videos for free by downloading the "YouTube Go" version of the app, where it's included as-standard.


    All I'd like is no ads, and the ability for the app to play when I'm not in it. Pity they don't offer a lower-tier, cheaper option with just those features. Every service seems to be "all-or-nothing" only thesedays.

  6. scovious

    I am super happy that developers will get more profit from their hard work. Personally, until Google unbundles every single Google app from their AOSP/Android Play Store, they have not done enough.

  7. Jeffsters

    Proving there is competition. Apple/Google is no different than Walmart/Target. In fact Walmart, Target, and throw in Amazon, is FAR FAR FAR worse in the demands they make and restrictions they place on vendors. Meh!

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