The spotlight is more on Apple for how it handles app payments through the App Store, forcing developers to use only its own payment platform and get 30%. But many are unaware that Google has exactly the same policy.
The difference, though, is that some big names in the industry, such as Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, have allowed content for their apps to be paid in a separate environment, not with Google. As a result, companies no longer have to pay 30% to Google, despite the fact that the company itself has long demanded that charges be made through its system, as shown below.
- Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.
- Developers offering products within another category of the app downloaded on Google Play must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment, except for the following cases:
- Payment is solely for physical products
- Payment is for digital content that may be consumed outside of the app itself (e.g. songs that can be played on other music players).
But according to Bloomberg, Google will be stricter on this issue, with changes coming as early as next week. It has been known for years that Google often turns a blind eye to the big developers, while to the smaller developers it draws all its rigor.
Developers will have some time to comply with existing guidelines, but the company will no longer allow any company to bypass this payment system. If we want to be fair of course, this is the right and fair for all developers and not just for the big names. It remains to be seen how the other companies will react, especially now that Coalition for App Fairness exists.