Google lowers Play Store fees for subscription and music streaming apps to 15%

The landscape for digital storefronts is changing quite a bit. That is thanks, at least in part, to a lot of outside voices demanding those changes. Apple, for its part, remains reluctant to make any sweeping changes that don’t ultimately benefit the company. But, it has made some changes, and there appear to be even more in the works. Meanwhile, Google has had to make some changes to its Play Store, too, and today marks the arrival of yet another.

Google confirmed on Thursday, October 21, 2021, that it will be reducing the fees associated with subscriptions for apps available in the Play Store. Up to this point, Google’s fees have been similar to Apple’s 30%, but that will no longer be the case. According to Google, it is reducing the fees from 30% to 15% for both subscription apps and music streaming apps. That’s according to a report today from The Verge. Interestingly, the report indicates that some music streaming apps can get their fees reduced to just 10%, which is quite the drop from the initial fees.

Broadly, Google’s fee system works similarly to Apple’s (after Apple made some changes of its own). For subscription apps, Google takes 30% from the sub for the first 12 months. After that, Google reduces the fee to 15% for each following year — as long as the user retains a continuous subscription.

With this change, according to the report, the new fee plan will start “day one.” That means that there will no longer be the 12-month requirement, which should help app developers associated with subscription apps keep more money. All subscription fees will now have a 15% fee associated with them right out of the gate, no longer saddled with the original 30% cut.

It’s worth noting that Apple has a similar plan in place for the App Store developers out there. However, to qualify for the program that sees the fee drop to 15% on day one, developers must be enrolled in Apple’s App Store Small Business Program. To be eligible, the primary requirement is that an app developer does not exceed $1 million in earnings in a calendar year.

This is good news for many developers out there, and should be a welcomed change.