Google admits that Spotify doesn’t pay any fees on the Play Store due to a secret deal
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A Google executive said during testimony in the Epic vs Google trial that the deal with Spotify allows the audio company to bypass Play Store fees, The Verge reported.
Don Harrison, head of partnerships at Google, said Spotify pays no fees when it processes its own payments and pays a meager 4% fee when Google processes them, the post noted. He also said that the two companies have committed to putting $50 million each into the “Success Fund.”
The details emerged today after Google asked a court to keep details of its deal with Spotify sealed earlier this month.
Google usually takes a 15% discount on subscription apps. This fee can be reduced to 11% due to programs like User Choice Billing, which allows developers to use their own or third-party payment solutions.
“A small number of developers who invest directly in Android and Play may have different service fees as part of a broader partnership that includes significant financial investments and product integrations across different form factors. These investment partnerships allow us to “Our goal is to bring more users to Android and Play by continually improving the experience for all users and creating new opportunities for all developers.”
Google has tried to strike similar deals in the Play Store with big companies as well. Earlier this month, The Verge reported that the search giant offered Netflix a deal in 2017 to pay just a 10% fee on the Play Store for subscriptions. Netflix does not allow users to purchase subscriptions through the Android app at this time.
Last month, the Mountain View-based company reached a settlement with Match Group to allow the dating app giant to use third-party billing solutions on the Play Store. Match Group competitor Bumble was part of a pilot program for its user choice billing program that began in November 2022.
However, Epic rejected Google’s offers to adopt user choice billing and went to trial earlier this month. The experiment revealed many details about the inner workings of the Google Play Store. For example, in 2021, the company offered $197 million to Epic to bring Fortnite to the Play Store, but the gaming company rejected the deal. Separately, Google has tried to strike multi-million dollar deals with other game makers such as Activision Blizzard and Tencent’s Riot Games.