Apps have become big business in the tech ecosystem. They make a lot of money for Apple and Google. Under pressure from some developers, Apple reduced its cut of the subscription fees. Following suit, Google Play Store is cutting developer fees as well.
Developer Fees Cut
Every time you download an app and resign yourself to paying the in-app fees, you’re paying both the developer and the tech company hosting the store – they get a cut of everything.
Apple became embroiled in a fight with developers over its practice of requiring developers to only allow subscriptions through the App Store. They wanted to be sure they got their cut.
In December, Apple announced a change to its program. It dropped its percentage of fees for developers that make under $1 million a year, which is more than 90 percent of the developers in its program.
Google announced on Tuesday that it is doing the same: cutting developer fees. Play Store fees on the first $1 million are being cut to 15 percent. Google will keep its 30 percent fee for developers – again, just like Apple.
The key difference here is Google is giving up half its fee on only that first million, while Apple is giving up the fee each year the developer makes under $1 million.
“With this change, 99 percent of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50 percent reduction in fees,” said Google vice president Sameer Samat in a blog post. “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.”
Google’s and Apple’s Legal Woes
Epic Games, the maker of the Fortnite game, is suing both Google and Apple, charging them of monopolizing app payments. Both app stores have removed Fortnite for not following the rules.
Additionally, both Google and Apple are facing state legislatures threats. There are bills proposed that would regulate Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. While North Dakota proposed a bill that failed to pass, Arizona has a bill whose fate has not yet been decided.
Because both Apple and Google are so willingly giving up so much money with the cuts to developer fees, it must mean that in the grand scheme of things, they really aren’t giving up that much. In other words, dropping their app fees by half is not breaking the bank.
If you’re through with the whole thing and want to avoid the Play Store at all costs, check out these alternatives.