Google Play drops all subscription commissions to 15% from day one

Posted:
in General Discussion
Following a program that Google started in March 2021, the company is now lowering commissions on all Google Play app subscriptions to 15% from the first day of service instead of after a year.




Google's previous commission on subscriptions was the same as Apple's -- 30% for the first year, and 15% thereafter. Google says that 99% of all subscription app developers qualify for the lower 15% commission.

Additionally, it is cutting costs for participants in the Play Media Experience Program. App developers in that program, largely e-book vendors and streaming music services like Spotify, will have fees cut to as low as 10%.

"Our current service fee drops from 30% to 15% after 12 months of a recurring subscription,
VP of Product Management Sameer Samat said. "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."

In March, three months after Apple's announcement about cutting developer fees, Google announced that standard 30% commission paid for app purchases in the Google Play Store would get cut to 15%. The change, which started on July 1, applied to the first $1 million in revenue generated using the Play store's payment mechanism each year.

After the developer passes the $1 million in revenue milestone for the year, the fee will return to its usual 30% level. Once the year is up, the fee will again reduce down to 15%, until the developer again passes $1 million in app sales and in-app purchases.

Apple's program for app purchase lower fees is similar, but slightly more restrictive. Under Apple's App Store Small Business Program, if a developer passes $1 million, but they become ineligible to take part the following year. If their revenue then falls below $1 million for that following year, they can reapply for the discounted rate the year after that.

Google's version for app purchases operates on the first $1 million in revenue per year, and will automatically restart the following year, regardless of the revenue level of the previous year.

"With this change, 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees," said at the time. "These are funds that can help developers scale up at a critical phase of their growth by hiring more engineers, adding to their marketing staff, increasing server capacity, and more."

The decision to make the fee reduction applicable to all developers regardless of size is said to be due to a continued need to pay for scaling. "Scaling an app doesn't stop once a partner has reached $1M in revenue -- we've heard from our partners making $2M, $5M, and even $10M a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit," states Samat.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    williamlondonbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)
    lkruppBeatsdanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    5% wouldn't help Apple with their anti-trust/competition problems.

    Quite the opposite, and for the reasons you have given. 

    'kneecapping' other stores would send alarm bells ringing in all jurisdictions. 
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Apple should close the app store
    I doubt many people would agree with you. Do you really want an ecosystem where Microsoft and Adobe are the only app developers? Competition from the little guy keeps them on their toes and keeps prices down. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but do Microsoft and Adobe EVER innovate?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,764member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)
    Are you kidding? The App Store is a run-away success, for Apple and for users. There is no way I would want to return to a universe where my senior citizen parents are trying to figure out software installs (on their phones no less) from a million different developers of unknown quality or safety. The iOS App Store has tons of awesome apps, and my days of doing tech support for all my family & friends are seemingly behind me.
    edited October 21 narwhalfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,642member
    Good. It’s a stolen product, stolen OS and stolen store. They should be getting 0%.

    Keep Apple premium at 30% if they want us.

    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.


    FU** YOU. Before Apple, you would have been paying 70-90% “commission” with $10,000+ budget to start if you even wanna make $1!! AND if you were lucky!! No store had the obligation to carry your software. Now all you need is a $1,000 Mac and $99/year and you get access to over 1 Billion users. Back in 2005 we were excited if we got accepted into a local store with 1,000 weekly customers with NO SEARCH ENGINE!!!

    Apple owes you NOTHING.

    Want more revenue? MAKE BETTER SOFTWARE.

    genovelle
  • Reply 7 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,642member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)
    Are you kidding? The App Store is a run-away success, for Apple and for users. There is no way I would want to return to a universe where my senior citizen parents are trying to figure out software installs (on their phones no less) from a million different developers of unknown quality or safety. The iOS App Store has tons of awesome apps, and my days of doing tech support for all my family & friends are seemingly behind me.

    I think he said it to teach the complainer a lesson. Since he’s complaining about 30% to access the world’s most valuable people, then maybe he should go back to the good old days when guys who didn’t have a quarter million to start weren’t even considered. And hey! No “evil” Apple!
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Beats said:
    Apple owes you NOTHING.

    Want more revenue? MAKE BETTER SOFTWARE.

    Not sure why you're so angry. (The commission doesn't affect me THAT much. I make most of my income from ads.) I'm just making some suggestions to help Apple's bottom line. Lighten up, Beats.
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    avon b7 said:
    5% wouldn't help Apple with their anti-trust/competition problems.

    Quite the opposite, and for the reasons you have given. 

    'kneecapping' other stores would send alarm bells ringing in all jurisdictions. 
    Cutting the commission in the US wouldn't result in antitrust action since the DOJ is focused on lowering prices. That's why Amazon (an ACTUAL monopoly in ebooks) beat Apple's ebook store -- by saying Apple was somehow RAISING prices.

    But you're right as far as EU antitrust. If Apple was seen as doing something to hurt competitors, the EU would step in.
    elijahg
  • Reply 10 of 21
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,298member
    I think the reason some of us are up at arms about these attacks on the App Store is we remember what came before. Even the in-house apps were created out of necessity because until Apple made their own the developers would ignore us. Keeping Apple from developing 1st party apps like some are attempting would drive us back to the App drought of the 90s. I’m already noticing Newer developers locking IPad users out of access by only supporting chrome. Google tore a page out of Microsoft’s screw Apple users manual. 
    freeassociate2watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    It makes a lot of sense to leave it consistent. If it starts at 30% then drops to 15%, you still need to charge as if it were 30% since you can’t pass on those savings to the end user after a year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    Beats said:
    Good. It’s a stolen product, stolen OS and stolen store. They should be getting 0%.

    Keep Apple premium at 30% if they want us.

    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.


    FU** YOU. Before Apple, you would have been paying 70-90% “commission” with $10,000+ budget to start if you even wanna make $1!! AND if you were lucky!! No store had the obligation to carry your software. Now all you need is a $1,000 Mac and $99/year and you get access to over 1 Billion users. Back in 2005 we were excited if we got accepted into a local store with 1,000 weekly customers with NO SEARCH ENGINE!!!

    Apple owes you NOTHING.

    Want more revenue? MAKE BETTER SOFTWARE.

    Fully agree.  As a developer myself, the whining coming from the weekend-developers and McSweeney is embarrassing.  I remember the store model's of old where packaged software and distribution of that software makes the 30% App Store fee look like a complete bargain.  Apple has nothing to be apologetic for.  Apple's popularity comes from CUSTOMERS, and not developers.  Apple's App Store gives developers access to countless customers with disposable income.  Unlike Android, Apple uses its own hardware, OS, and App Store.  It's a packaged toaster.  Developers should not have a say in telling Apple how to run its hugely successful ecosystem.   If you don't like how the App Store works, then go elsewhere.  Apple owns iOS, not you.  Want to side-load apps?  Then jailbreak your phone and be quiet. 
    Beatsfastasleepglennhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,642member
    sflocal said:
    Beats said:
    Good. It’s a stolen product, stolen OS and stolen store. They should be getting 0%.

    Keep Apple premium at 30% if they want us.

    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.


    FU** YOU. Before Apple, you would have been paying 70-90% “commission” with $10,000+ budget to start if you even wanna make $1!! AND if you were lucky!! No store had the obligation to carry your software. Now all you need is a $1,000 Mac and $99/year and you get access to over 1 Billion users. Back in 2005 we were excited if we got accepted into a local store with 1,000 weekly customers with NO SEARCH ENGINE!!!

    Apple owes you NOTHING.

    Want more revenue? MAKE BETTER SOFTWARE.

    Fully agree.  As a developer myself, the whining coming from the weekend-developers and McSweeney is embarrassing.  I remember the store model's of old where packaged software and distribution of that software makes the 30% App Store fee look like a complete bargain.  Apple has nothing to be apologetic for.  Apple's popularity comes from CUSTOMERS, and not developers.  Apple's App Store gives developers access to countless customers with disposable income.  Unlike Android, Apple uses its own hardware, OS, and App Store.  It's a packaged toaster.  Developers should not have a say in telling Apple how to run its hugely successful ecosystem.   If you don't like how the App Store works, then go elsewhere.  Apple owns iOS, not you.  Want to side-load apps?  Then jailbreak your phone and be quiet. 

    They’re so entitled and spoiled. Some suggest 5% and that Apple should lose money so their crappy apps can make an extra buck. Imagine telling Best Buy “hey sell my products but only take 0-5%!! I deserve it!!” Or renting a house and telling your landlord that you should stay for free because the landlord can afford the house!

    I remember around 2005 I helped release a music CD and we literally had to print the album covers, laminate them and cut them exactly to size to put in the cases. We were at Kinko’s all night only to have to sell them personally to strangers after concerts we paid to organize.

    Hearing some App developer complain that he’s only getting 70% while never having to leave home or do any front-end work is irritating.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)
    Meth. Not even once. 
    edited October 21
  • Reply 15 of 21
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    sflocal said:
    Beats said:
    Good. It’s a stolen product, stolen OS and stolen store. They should be getting 0%.

    Keep Apple premium at 30% if they want us.

    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.


    FU** YOU. Before Apple, you would have been paying 70-90% “commission” with $10,000+ budget to start if you even wanna make $1!! AND if you were lucky!! No store had the obligation to carry your software. Now all you need is a $1,000 Mac and $99/year and you get access to over 1 Billion users. Back in 2005 we were excited if we got accepted into a local store with 1,000 weekly customers with NO SEARCH ENGINE!!!

    Apple owes you NOTHING.

    Want more revenue? MAKE BETTER SOFTWARE.

     Apple's popularity comes from CUSTOMERS, and not developers.
    I fixed it for you...
    Developers should not have a say in telling Apple how to run its hugely successful ecosystem. 
    Although Apple is the one who have the final word in the App Store, it would be fair to consider what developers think.  The iPhone became popular for the excellent job Apple did with iOS.  But the same cannot be said of the Apple Apps Store.  You don't see Apple apps or services leading in their own app store.  The store success depends on the hard work of developers, large and small.  For that reason, I think Apple should at least hear them.

    And I'm not a developer, but a customer who see and benefits from the hard work Apple AND developers do to improve the iOS ecosystem.  
    mobirdelijahgnarwhalmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.
    I don't understand the complication.  You pay 15% on the first million, and 30% on anything above.  What do you mean you "can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission"?  If selling or buying apps puts you over the £1m limit, then good for you, you're making lots of money, but it's time to pay for the privilege.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    danoxdanox Posts: 680member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)

    Yes, Apple should move on from having bad apps, in each category there are only maybe ten really good apps, aside from games or utilities, also the bigger companies Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Facebook camping out and offering near free software hasn’t been good to the small to mid tier developers who offer some of the best programs. 

    Also Apple cutting the price of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers to free hurt the smaller developers, Apple should have continued offer those programs at a placeholder price.
    edited October 21
  • Reply 18 of 21
    danoxdanox Posts: 680member
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.

    Here's another idea: Apple should consider dropping the commission even further to 5%. So the App Store is basically a loss leader to sell hardware. It will lead to more apps in the App Store, will end all the gripes and lawsuits from developers about high rates, and basically kneecap other app stores from gaining a foothold.
    Another idea - Apple should close the app store and concentrate their efforts into the own apps and a few favoured developers. Most apps I have bought through the app store have not really turned out to be that useful, but the ones bought externally (usually for much more money)  have been long term really useful. I am happy to drift back (maybe not all the way) to the bad old days where there is a few successful developers "commanding the roost". (Might solve a few litigation issues at the same time)
    Are you kidding? The App Store is a run-away success, for Apple and for users. There is no way I would want to return to a universe where my senior citizen parents are trying to figure out software installs (on their phones no less) from a million different developers of unknown quality or safety. The iOS App Store has tons of awesome apps, and my days of doing tech support for all my family & friends are seemingly behind me.

    Apple does not need to close the store but they do need to put the AppStore on a diet and get rid of the crap, finding good programs isn’t easy like it used to be. And the same applies to the music store.
    edited October 21
  • Reply 19 of 21
    crowley said:
    narwhal said:
    I think Apple should drop everything to 15% commission. The current situation is too complicated. As an under-$1M developer, I can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission. Better to just keep it simple for everyone at 15%. Apple can handle the decreased revenue from the large developers.
    I don't understand the complication.  You pay 15% on the first million, and 30% on anything above.  What do you mean you "can't sell or buy apps without being bumped to 30% commission"?  If selling or buying apps puts you over the £1m limit, then good for you, you're making lots of money, but it's time to pay for the privilege.
    Apple charges the under-$1 million developers 15% commission UNLESS they buy or sell an app to another developer. If I want to sell an app to another developer or buy another developer's app, the commission for all my apps becomes 30%.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    Beats said:

    They’re so entitled and spoiled. Some suggest 5% and that Apple should lose money so their crappy apps can make an extra buck. Imagine telling Best Buy “hey sell my products but only take 0-5%!! I deserve it!!” Or renting a house and telling your landlord that you should stay for free because the landlord can afford the house!

    I remember around 2005 I helped release a music CD and we literally had to print the album covers, laminate them and cut them exactly to size to put in the cases. We were at Kinko’s all night only to have to sell them personally to strangers after concerts we paid to organize.

    Hearing some App developer complain that he’s only getting 70% while never having to leave home or do any front-end work is irritating.
    Beats, I don't get why you're so angry. For most under-$1M devs, a change in the commission doesn't make much difference. But the article we're commenting on says Google is dropping its subscription commission to 15%. Why would they do that? It's likely a move to appease the >$1M developers and maybe convince them not to bother setting up external payment systems. Apple can either respond to Google's move, or ignore it. My suggestion was Apple drop the commission so low that only a moron would add external payments to apps. Then Apple would get 5% commission on Netflix and Audible instead of 0%.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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