Google’s new pilot allows Spotify to have its own in-app payment option

Alphabet’s Google said Wednesday it would allow Spotify to use its own payment system in its Android app as part of a new pilot aimed at addressing app developers’ concerns about high fees and alleged competitive behavior.

Users who have downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will be offered the option to pay through Spotify’s payment system or Google Play billing in some countries next month.

Starting with Pilot Spotify will allow a small number of participating developers to offer an additional billing option next to Google’s billing system in their app.

Google said in a blog post, “This pilot will help us improve our understanding of whether user choice billing works for users in different countries and for developers of different sizes and categories.”

Under a new competition law in South Korea last year, Google further said it would allow developers to launch its own as well as a second payment system there.

Spotify said the trial was part of a “multi-year deal” with Google, without elaborating.

App developers such as Spotify who sell digital products have been complaining for years about using the Play Store and Apple’s App Store’s official payment system.

Google and Apple collect fees of up to 30 percent of each payment, which is too much, according to the developers. Both have reduced fees in many cases and said they need funding for a safe and secure mobile ecosystem.

Google has not specified the fee for the new pilot.

The company is speeding up enforcement of its Google Play billing requirements, saying non-compliant apps could be blocked from releasing updates from Friday.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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