Lower 15% Google Play fee offered for Wear OS, Android Auto integrations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
Google is offering Android app developers a lowered Google Play commission rate if they agree to add deeper integration for Google platforms like WearOS and Android Auto in their apps.




Like Apple's App Store, Google charges a 30% commission fee for transactions in the Google Play Store. While it has already announced one program to reduce the fee for some developers, it has introduced a second that could make the change more permanent for larger apps.

Called the Play Media Experience Program, Google hopes to encourage developers of Android apps to support other platforms than just smartphones, specifically others that Google also manages. This entails making apps in various categories work with Google's other platforms.

For example, video apps will have to enable integration with Android TV, Google TV, and Google Cast, complete with cross-device playback and sign-in integrations. Audio apps will have to integrate with WearOS, Android Auto, Android TV, and Google Cast.

Lastly, reading apps will need to include tablet and foldable optimizations, Wear OS and Android Auto for audiobooks, and Google's Entertainment Space discovery platform.

Apps also have to provide a good user experience with a strong Google Play rating, have a developer account in good standing, and other additional requirements depending on the type of apps being produced. The apps also need to achieve at least 100,000 monthly active installs on Google Play to qualify.

In exchange for meeting the criteria, developers are said to benefit from "additional discovery and engagement opportunities across devices," as well as a reduction of the commission from 30% to 15%.

This is not the only program Google operates to lower the commission fee. In a program that follows the same lines as an Apple initiative, Google lowers the commission fee to 15% for the first $1 million in revenue earned by an app per year, before raising up to 30%.

It appears that the new program may be beneficial to established and larger apps, as the 15% applies beyond the first $1 million, making it an attractive offer for some developers.

It remains to be seen if Apple will offer its own counter proposal to developers for its own ecosystem. Given the continued attention and scrutiny the App Store finds itself under for the commission fee, it is plausible Apple could also implement something similar for developers within its own ecosystem.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,738member
    This is exactly the kind of behavior that needs to be addressed, whether it’s Apple, Google or Facebook.  Google is using its dominance in one area (Google Play) to pressure developers to support other business lines.  Google claims it’s an incentive, but it’s really a message tantamount to “that’s a nice company you have there. It would be a shame if you had to pay double and get less access than those who ‘play ball’ do.”  

     Imagine if Apple actually did this. Imagine Apple saying to developers they could pay a 15% fee and get better access as long as they fully supported Mac OS development, Watch, TV, and CarPlay as well.  The Epic lawsuit would be a joke by comparison.  
    GabyFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    bleabbleab Posts: 23member
    It is amazing. Google is making a ton of positive, aggressive decisions since the COVID-19 shutdown that would have made a real difference 5 years ago. It is as if splitting up the executives and managers and forcing them to work more independently has made it harder to bottle up good ideas. Or maybe the influence of the executives has diminished and allowed the product teams and engineers actually follow through. 

    Another possibility: Google and Samsung have collaborated a lot more over the past year or so. I wonder if Samsung has been telling them "this is why our products sell - they're pretty good, not as good as Apple but the next best thing - and your's doesn't - they stink" and Google is finally listening.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,826member
    What a shameless attempt to lock developers into Google’s (shabby) walled garden. This is the kind of vertical integration that’s just baiting the EU & Senate. The company that nobody trusts is courting antitrust scrutiny.
    sdw2001watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    They should have done this years ago for tablets. Then maybe the Android tablet market wouldn’t be the joke it is today.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,843member
    I don't see the problem with this that others do.

    Another word for business is "trade". Google understands that it would be more expensive for developers to support a broader range of devices, so in exchange for that extra cost, they get to keep more of their sales. To me, that's a fair trade.

    gatorguy
  • Reply 6 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    mcdave said:
    What a shameless attempt to lock developers into Google’s (shabby) walled garden. This is the kind of vertical integration that’s just baiting the EU & Senate. The company that nobody trusts is courting antitrust scrutiny.
    Is there some restraint on developing the same apps for the AppStore or any other platform that wasn't mentioned? Otherwise, I don't really understand your post. How does this lock-in developers to Android? 
  • Reply 7 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,634member
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 276member
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).
  • Reply 9 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,634member
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    edited June 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 17
    gatorguy said:
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    The problem with the likes of @Beats is - their narrow circle of life starts and ends with Apple and nothing else. They do not explore the outside world, which is fine. But then, they should not comment of topics that they have no clue in. But they still come out and chime in with silly ignorant posts, day in day out.
    williamlondongatorguy
  • Reply 12 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    gatorguy said:
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    The problem with the likes of @Beats is - their narrow circle of life starts and ends with Apple and nothing else. They do not explore the outside world, which is fine. But then, they should not comment of topics that they have no clue in. But they still come out and chime in with silly ignorant posts, day in day out.
    I try to avoid commenting on things I haven't at least researched if I don't have personal experience with them. I realize everyone has different standards and some folks don't see value in familarizing themselves with things they don't use. 

    The internet stopped being a reliable source of information a long time ago, far too many posters who pretend to know what they're talking about but in reality never spent a moments research or had any formal education on the topic. Much of the time you now have to spend time looking for and reading different sources to come away with any decent understanding.
    edited June 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 17
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 276member
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used?
    I have no firm figures (and if I could get them I would most probably not be allowed to share them), but I can assure you that the vehicle OEMs we are working with wouldn't spend money on integrating and verifying Android Auto (or Car Play for that matter) if their customers weren't using it. It is quite expensive, and they are not stupid.
    Regarding the apps, you need to look no further than the usual suspects (Sensor Tower, App Annie etc) to get some indications. Should be similar to Car Play.

    Or what did you have in mind?

    tmay
  • Reply 14 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    gatorguy said:
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    Not sure if user numbers is even a relevant metric anyway;

    https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/available-models/

    https://www.android.com/auto/compatibility/

    There are more links available for Android Auto, but one is probably representative enough.

    If you can find that your vehicle is supported, whatever your choice, then you're golden.
    edited June 28 williamlondongatorguymuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    Not sure if user numbers is even a relevant metric anyway;

    https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/available-models/

    https://www.android.com/auto/compatibility/

    There are more links available for Android Auto, but one is probably representative enough.

    If you can find that your vehicle is supported, whatever your choice, then you're golden.
    Thanks Tmay!
  • Reply 16 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    Beats said:
    IreneW said:
    Beats said:
    Android Auto and WearOS? What’s 15% of zero?
    I can understand your sentiment on WearOS, but Android Auto actually works very well (and is supported by all major players as far as I have seen).

    Supported. How many are used
    How many iPhone owners use CarPlay? My guess is as many use Android Auto. You have any stats that indicate otherwise?

    The last I could find is from four years ago and there was actually a higher percentage of Android users interested in Android Auto, and a much higher number of them considered it a "must-have", than there were iOS owners interested in CarPlay. Do you have something more recent to offer? Everything I find is relatively old.

    Not sure if user numbers is even a relevant metric anyway;

    https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/available-models/

    https://www.android.com/auto/compatibility/

    There are more links available for Android Auto, but one is probably representative enough.

    If you can find that your vehicle is supported, whatever your choice, then you're golden.
    Thanks Tmay!
    Yep.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 17
    gatorguy said:
    mcdave said:
    What a shameless attempt to lock developers into Google’s (shabby) walled garden. This is the kind of vertical integration that’s just baiting the EU & Senate. The company that nobody trusts is courting antitrust scrutiny.
    Is there some restraint on developing the same apps for the AppStore or any other platform that wasn't mentioned? Otherwise, I don't really understand your post. How does this lock-in developers to Android? 
    It doesn’t but he wants to beat his chest in public for a minute. 
    williamlondon
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