Google Play to offer 15% cut incentive to app developers on first million in annual sales

Once developers get past their first million in sales, Google's rates go back to the standard 30%.

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As app cuts and percentages remain a constant conversation in the mobile community, it would seem that Google is moving towards a policy that will be more lenient towards starting app developers. Traditionally, Google Play has taken a 30% cut of in-app and downloadable purchases, but its new policy will reduce this cut to 15% through a developer’s first annual sales in a year.

Google Play announced its new policy in an Android developer blog post on March 16, 2021, as reported by CNBC. Starting on July 1, 2021, Google will reduce its cut of app sales to 15% through a developer’s overall first million dollars worth of sales in a year. According to the post, Google’s new policy is built towards incentivizing developers towards studio growth and investment via staff and improved technology.

“With this change, 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees,” Google VP Sameer Samat said in the 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.”

According to Google VP of Product Management Sameer Samat, Google Play's reduced 15% cut on app sales should help nurture developer investment and growth.
According to Google VP of Product Management Sameer Samat, Google Play's reduced 15% cut on app sales is meant to help nurture developer investment and growth.

Google’s new policy only applies to the first million dollars worth of app and download purchases for a developer. After that million is reached, the cut will increase back to its standard 30%. Nonetheless, it’s a means to aid the growth of developers and creators in the mobile market and should help small studios in becoming more established.

Google’s new policy also flies in the face of Apple, who has seen no shortage of criticism on the matter of its supposed 30% blanket cut of app sales (unless, of course, you count alleged backroom deals). It’s a contentious topic that factored into Apple going to legal war with Epic Games over anti-trust allegations.

With these things in mind, Google’s efforts to soften its take on smaller and less profitable developers should mean brighter horizons for those hoping to develop in the Android mobile space. It will remain to be seen what kind of effect this has on the mobile app environment as the policy launches in July.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      March 16, 2021 1:07 PM

      Google’s new policy also flies in the face of Apple, who has seen no shortage of criticism on the matter of its supposed 30% blanket cut of app sales (unless, of course, you count alleged backroom deals).

      Actually Apple instituted a program with similarities to this one starting in January of this year (though not as easy or generous as Google's).

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/18/apple-will-cut-app-store-fees-by-half-to-15percent-for-small-developers.html

      Apple allows people to apply for and get into a "Small Business Program" where if you make less than $1M a year you get the 15% cut but if you go above that it's 30%.

      Google's program here is better - it's apparently automatic and it's just on the first $1M outright. The way Apple's thing works if you go above $1M one year you can't be in it the next but you can be in it the year after that if you fall under $1M.

      But what Google's really done here is follow Apple's lead on it and improve the terms, likely also due to address the criticisms of Epic without actually helping Epic at all. One of Epic's arguments is that the 30% is unfair to small businesses, Apple/Google's response is to do something that will help small businesses - which Epic is not.

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