MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,121
15,927


Google plans to introduce updated Play Store guidelines that emphasize the requirement for most apps to use the company's billing system for in-app purchases as early as next week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

Google-Play-banner.jpg

While this requirement has existed for years, the report notes that some major developers like Netflix, Spotify, and Tinder have circumvented the rule by prompting customers to pay directly using a credit card, rather than their Play Store account, bypassing Google's 30 percent commission for in-app purchases.

In a statement, Google said that it is always working with developers to clarify its Play Store policies, but it did not elaborate on any forthcoming changes:
As an open platform, Android allows multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices come with at least two stores right out of the box, and users can install others. For developers who choose to distribute their apps on Google Play, our policy has always required them to use Play's billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods. We are always working with our partners to clarify these policies and ensure they are applied equitably and reasonably.
The report claims that when Google's updated guidelines are implemented, major developers currently not in compliance will be given time to update their apps and are unlikely to face immediate removal from the Play Store.

Google and Apple have faced increasing scrutiny over the way the companies run the Play Store and App Store, respectively. Apple in particular has been accused of anticompetitive behavior by Spotify and others, and the company remains in a high-profile legal battle with Fortnite creator Epic Games over in-app purchases.

Article Link: Google Reportedly Plans to Update Play Store Guidelines to Emphasize Use of Its Billing System With 30% Fee
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Vanilla35

Wowfunhappy

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2019
1,175
1,403
As long as you can sideload Android apps, this situation is entirely different from what's happening on iOS.

If Spotify doesn't want to give Google a cut, they can tell customers to download an apk directly from their website. Frankly, this whole thing could easily backfire on Google, because the more software that's distributed directly, the more users become used to sideloading, and the less reason developers have to use the Play Store to begin with.

I mean, at least the iOS App Store offers fairly substantial safety guarantees for users. If sideloading was possible on iOS—as it should be—I'd still download most software from the App Store, because I'd know those apps were safe. The Play Store has a lot more malware, and I don't see many reasons to use it.
 
Last edited:
Comment

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,328
4,642
Good. Google should get paid for the platform they built and the value they provide developers so they profit in partnership.

I’d say Epic is as dumb as a pile of rocks, but they are not. What Epic is the entitled rich who won’t share with those who enable their business, unless it’s in their interest to do so. It’s why there is no lawsuit against Microsoft and Sony.
 
Comment

Maconplasma

Suspended
Sep 15, 2020
2,489
2,204
It's interesting that Google can charge the 30% and the internet for the most part remains quiet, but tech sites, news and various other information sites make it to seem that Apple is the only bad guy here and is the only one charging 30%. SMH
 
Comment

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
15,128
14,399
Singapore
Imagine the amount of hatred, disdain, and horrific things people would say on these forums if Microsoft required all purchases utilizing the Windows OS to give MS a 30% cut.
I posted this in an earlier thread and am reposting it here for discussion.

I feel that developers by and large underestimate just how much of their revenue come from Apple’s in-app payments being so easy and trusted.

Yes, they put in a lot of time and effort creating great apps for consumers, but setting aside household brands like Netflix or Spotify, I don’t think they would have as much business if consumers had to resort to the old way of navigating to an external website and keying in their credit card details.

Apple has made this possible thanks to their having aggregated the best customers under one platform (thanks to the iphone) and having their credit card details on hand (thanks to iTunes) while making it extremely secure and easy to purchase apps, as well as delete them or cancel subscriptions as desired (thanks to the effort that goes into maintaining and curating the App Store, and features like Touch ID), which in turn leads to users being more amenable to purchasing and downloading new apps. Because the whole process is just so frictionless.

So at the end of the day, I dare say that 70% of the larger pie that Apple enables because of the App Store is still more than 100% of whatever slice they would have carved out based on their own merit. This is the value that Apple brings to the table, and they are absolutely justified in demanding a cut for their role in allowing app developers to earn more than they otherwise would have on their own.

In Microsoft’s situation, they would likely not be able to grow the pie the way Apple has done, or go as good a job maintaining the App Store like Apple, which in turn means that Microsoft will have done even less to deserve a 30% cut than Apple.

The two scenarios are nothing alike.
 
Comment

TravelsInBlue

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2020
133
413
Apple led the way with customer hostile practices like taking away upgradability, I/O and headphone jacks, now it’s leading the way with developer hostile tactics like wanting a tax on all transactions on its platform, not just app purchases.

Imagine having a Windows tax for every online software and service purchase.

It’s free money for nothing, so if Apple can do it I guess it makes sense for Google to enforce the same.
 
Comment

LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
741
1,821
Apple led the way with customer hostile practices... now it’s leading the way with developer hostile tactics like wanting a tax on all transactions on its platform, not just app purchases.

It’s free money for nothing, so if Apple can do it I guess it makes sense for Google to enforce the same.
Be careful, you’re starting to sound like someone who doesn’t run a multi billion dollar company and all that entails
 
Comment

subi257

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
858
841
New Jersey
I posted this in an earlier thread and am reposting it here for discussion.

I feel that developers by and large underestimate just how much of their revenue come from Apple’s in-app payments being so easy and trusted.

Yes, they put in a lot of time and effort creating great apps for consumers, but setting aside household brands like Netflix or Spotify, I don’t think they would have as much business if consumers had to resort to the old way of navigating to an external website and keying in their credit card details.

Apple has made this possible thanks to their having aggregated the best customers under one platform (thanks to the iphone) and having their credit card details on hand (thanks to iTunes) while making it extremely secure and easy to purchase apps, as well as delete them or cancel subscriptions as desired (thanks to the effort that goes into maintaining and curating the App Store, and features like Touch ID), which in turn leads to users being more amenable to purchasing and downloading new apps. Because the whole process is just so frictionless.

So at the end of the day, I dare say that 70% of the larger pie that Apple enables because of the App Store is still more than 100% of whatever slice they would have carved out based on their own merit. This is the value that Apple brings to the table, and they are absolutely justified in demanding a cut for their role in allowing app developers to earn more than they otherwise would have on their own.

In Microsoft’s situation, they would likely not be able to grow the pie the way Apple has done, or go as good a job maintaining the App Store like Apple, which in turn means that Microsoft will have done even less to deserve a 30% cut than Apple.

The two scenarios are nothing alike.

Agreed. If Apple didn't create the App store most of these developers would not even exist. Apple has made it feasible for anybody and their brother to become "developers" I can't even count how many sh**ty .99 cent apps I bought just because "who cares if it sucks, it's .99 cents" and there are thousands of other people like that, the developer just made thousands of dollars.
 
Comment

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,717
28,740
I posted this in an earlier thread and am reposting it here for discussion.

I feel that developers by and large underestimate just how much of their revenue come from Apple’s in-app payments being so easy and trusted.

Yes, they put in a lot of time and effort creating great apps for consumers, but setting aside household brands like Netflix or Spotify, I don’t think they would have as much business if consumers had to resort to the old way of navigating to an external website and keying in their credit card details.

Apple has made this possible thanks to their having aggregated the best customers under one platform (thanks to the iphone) and having their credit card details on hand (thanks to iTunes) while making it extremely secure and easy to purchase apps, as well as delete them or cancel subscriptions as desired (thanks to the effort that goes into maintaining and curating the App Store, and features like Touch ID), which in turn leads to users being more amenable to purchasing and downloading new apps. Because the whole process is just so frictionless.

So at the end of the day, I dare say that 70% of the larger pie that Apple enables because of the App Store is still more than 100% of whatever slice they would have carved out based on their own merit. This is the value that Apple brings to the table, and they are absolutely justified in demanding a cut for their role in allowing app developers to earn more than they otherwise would have on their own.

In Microsoft’s situation, they would likely not be able to grow the pie the way Apple has done, or go as good a job maintaining the App Store like Apple, which in turn means that Microsoft will have done even less to deserve a 30% cut than Apple.

The two scenarios are nothing alike.
Outside of games how many people are paying for apps or using IAP? Tim Cook himself said 84% of the apps in the App Store are free. I’ll bet most people aren’t paying to remove ads or upgrade to premium features (like in weather apps). Also IAP doesn’t apply to non-digital goods. I use the Panera app quite frequently to order food. They don’t use Apple’s IAP. But they do offer Apple Pay so it‘s super convenient. How about if you buy goods from Amazon or Target or order a ride from Uber. None of those use Apple’s IAP and it doesn’t seem to be a problem at all. Apple created a whole category just to give certain developers the ability to not have to use IAP. Think of the billions of dollars in e-commerce that go through the browser every day. A lot of that using iOS devices. Again there doesn’t appear to be massive (or even minor) security issues. It’s hard to use the security angle when it only applies to certain digital goods.

To me the 30% rent seeking is less about security and more about Apple saying they deserve a cut because they think they’re responsible for the customer acquisition. That might have been the case when the iPhone was young and the App Store was new but is that really the case now? I think you even said a lot of new apps you try out come from 3rd party recommendations on sites like macstories.net. I heard about Widgetsmith (one of the top free apps in the App Store right now) from Apple centric podcasts like Upgrade and Connected. During the Hey controversy the guys at Basecamp said their customer acquisition doesn’t come from Apple.

I think most people couldn’t care less about alternate app stores or payment methods because they’re either not paying for apps or their IAP is a micro transaction. If a 99 cent transaction in a game costs you 30% more do you even think about it? To an individual consumer it’s nothing. To a developer, in aggregate it might be a lot.
 
Last edited:
Comment

FightTheFuture

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2003
1,655
2,369
that town east of ann arbor
It's interesting that Google can charge the 30% and the internet for the most part remains quiet, but tech sites, news and various other information sites make it to seem that Apple is the only bad guy here and is the only one charging 30%. SMH
Many of the same people who said Apple would go out of business before the iPod are the same people who say Apple is too successful today. These guys don’t want Apple to succeed.
 
Comment

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,367
3,423
Chicago
Imagine the amount of hatred, disdain, and horrific things people would say on these forums if Microsoft required all purchases utilizing the Windows OS to give MS a 30% cut.
As a consumer I couldn't care less to be honest. I just want to use the app. I don't care how my payment gets divided amongst these monster sized companies.
 
Comment

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
4,024
2,695
Imagine the amount of hatred, disdain, and horrific things people would say on these forums if Microsoft required all purchases utilizing the Windows OS to give MS a 30% cut.
Imagine having a Windows tax for every online software and service purchase.
Yes, Imagine it. Now imagine I’m on macOS. Then imagine how much I care.
If Spotify doesn't want to give Google a cut, they can tell customers to download an apk directly from their website. Frankly, this whole thing could easily backfire on Google, because the more software that's distributed directly, the more users become used to sideloading, and the less reason developers have to use the Play Store to begin with.
Fortnite tried this and saw their Android sales drop. Seems that folks prefer the easy peasy Store experience for some reason. Google is saying that, if you take advantage of how easy peasy we made the Store, then you play by our rules.

Epic COULD make an easy peasy store themselves for their games. However, apparently making an easy peasy store is hard. So, even in a situation where they have freedom to create their OWN store on ANY of the compatible hardware out there, they still wanted to piggyback on the store someone ELSE created rather than go the side load or create their own store way.
It’s free money for nothing, so if Apple can do it I guess it makes sense for Google to enforce the same.
Correction, while it is indeed money for nothing, I understand it is actually the chicks that are for free.
 
Comment

julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
344
1,255
San Jose
Imagine the amount of hatred, disdain, and horrific things people would say on these forums if Microsoft required all purchases utilizing the Windows OS to give MS a 30% cut.

Most purchases I make within Windows are from a web browser, though.
 
Comment

TravelsInBlue

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2020
133
413
Be careful, you’re starting to sound like someone who doesn’t run a multi billion dollar company and all that entails

When you answer to the shareholders that demand ever increasing profits, it makes sense to leave no revenue stream untapped regardless of whether or not it ethically (and for some companies even legally... Wells Fargo) makes sense. You don’t get to be a trillion dollar company by playing nice, regardless of what your PR and marketing might say.
 
Comment

Wowfunhappy

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2019
1,175
1,403
It's interesting that Google can charge the 30% and the internet for the most part remains quiet, but tech sites, news and various other information sites make it to seem that Apple is the only bad guy here and is the only one charging 30%. SMH

Because Apple is the only one who doesn't allow slideloading.

This is also why you rarely hear developers complain about Mac App Store fees.
 
Comment

rjp1

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
492
1,566
Apple led the way with customer hostile practices like taking away upgradability, I/O and headphone jacks, now it’s leading the way with developer hostile tactics like wanting a tax on all transactions on its platform, not just app purchases.

Imagine having a Windows tax for every online software and service purchase.

It’s free money for nothing, so if Apple can do it I guess it makes sense for Google to enforce the same.
Don't forget they led the way with taking away the first 2 app stores on iOS (Installer.app and Cydia).

People have a short memory. When iOS came out, Steve Jobs told developers that rich websites in Safari were what Apple was doing for developers. People wanted native apps and got to work on it right away. After Apple saw this, they came up with their own app store - a year later.

Apple had to build the API's to make their own apps. They didn't build them just for 3rd parties. How do people think the original app stores had apps in them? By using the API's that were already part of iOS.
 
Comment

subi257

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
858
841
New Jersey
Apple led the way with customer hostile practices like taking away upgradability, I/O and headphone jacks, now it’s leading the way with developer hostile tactics like wanting a tax on all transactions on its platform, not just app purchases.

Imagine having a Windows tax for every online software and service purchase.

It’s free money for nothing, so if Apple can do it I guess it makes sense for Google to enforce the same.

You want an ancient tech analog headphone jack? stay with the old model. I don't understand, everybody always "has to have the latest greatest" then they complain that it is not like the old one anymore.

Where do you come up with this crap? It's not money for free, do you have even the slightest clue what it costs to run that backend? servers, storage, electric for equipment and air conditioning. It's not tax, it's cost of running a business. I work in a professional video editing environment and our video servers and storage are "EOL'd" (end of life) every 5 ish years. Our measly 750TB of of high speed (10GB/s) on optical fiber costs $105k for 100TB and has to be kept at 68 degrees. Amazon has to have Exebytes of storage for all of the app store and infrastructure. That has to cost millions of dollars a year...then you have staff engineers to maintain and support it.

Everybody needs to stop with money for free crap.
 
Comment

Wowfunhappy

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2019
1,175
1,403
So at the end of the day, I dare say that 70% of the larger pie that Apple enables because of the App Store is still more than 100% of whatever slice they would have carved out based on their own merit.

Great. Then allow alternate App Stores, and users can decide whether the 30% fee is justified. Maybe it is!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Max48
Comment

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
4,024
2,695
These guys don’t want Apple to succeed.
So, there‘s certainly reason to believe there’s an I hate Apple cult, like Bizarro Apple Fanboys, but you can’t discount the large number that find it an easily trollable playground. If you’re reading a tangential but almost wholly unrelated analogy, is it a troll or Bizarro Apple Fanboy? You decide :)
 
Comment

roto1231

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2009
28
8
USA
I posted this in an earlier thread and am reposting it here for discussion.

I feel that developers by and large underestimate just how much of their revenue come from Apple’s in-app payments being so easy and trusted.

Yes, they put in a lot of time and effort creating great apps for consumers, but setting aside household brands like Netflix or Spotify, I don’t think they would have as much business if consumers had to resort to the old way of navigating to an external website and keying in their credit card details.

Apple has made this possible thanks to their having aggregated the best customers under one platform (thanks to the iphone) and having their credit card details on hand (thanks to iTunes) while making it extremely secure and easy to purchase apps, as well as delete them or cancel subscriptions as desired (thanks to the effort that goes into maintaining and curating the App Store, and features like Touch ID), which in turn leads to users being more amenable to purchasing and downloading new apps. Because the whole process is just so frictionless.

So at the end of the day, I dare say that 70% of the larger pie that Apple enables because of the App Store is still more than 100% of whatever slice they would have carved out based on their own merit. This is the value that Apple brings to the table, and they are absolutely justified in demanding a cut for their role in allowing app developers to earn more than they otherwise would have on their own.

In Microsoft’s situation, they would likely not be able to grow the pie the way Apple has done, or go as good a job maintaining the App Store like Apple, which in turn means that Microsoft will have done even less to deserve a 30% cut than Apple.

The two scenarios are nothing alike.
All of this 👆🏼 and then some. You hit the nail right on the head. Epic and Spotify (the two biggest whiners right now) seem to be forgetting the money they have made from being on the App Store. If a user had to navigate through the archaic system to get a subscription and not to mention the HELL you used to have to go through to unsubscribe, vendors did/still do make it extremely difficult. They would not have the revenue they did. I don’t think it’s the 30% but rather the ease there is in being able to unsubscribe from a subscription. Before the AppStore it was buried in some random help section on the vendors website. The BS Epic and Spotify would never fly with physical goods sold in a physical store. If a vendor told Target “you’re making a lot of money from my product, I want a cut of your profit of it” (essentially what Spotify and Epic are doing). Target would tell them to go pound sand and stop carrying the product and find a different vendor.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.