Google cuts Play Store commission fee - But Indian app developers unimpressed

Google Play Store
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Google has announced that it is halving the commission Android developers have to pay on in-app purchases of digital goods on its Play Store to 15% (from the existing 30%) on the first $1 million they earn as revenue each year. 

The new service fee will kick in from July 1, 2021.

"With this change, 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees," Google said

However, developers in India have time till March 31, 2022.

"For the thousands of developers in India that are already using Play to sell digital goods, they can start receiving the benefit of this change as soon as it goes into effect in July," Google added.

It may be recalled that Apple had cut app store commissions late last year.

Indian app makers unimpressed

Meanwhile, in India there is a considerable push-back to Google's moves on the Play Store. It is pertinent to point out here that a group of Indian companies, spearheaded by Paytm, has been mooting the idea of a desi rival to Play Store.

Paytm, on the face of it, seems unimpressed by Google's latest offer. A Paytm spokesperson has been quoted as saying in the Economic Times: “It is absolute hogwash on the big issue of how Google is taking the money from the Indian app industry altogether and this is an attempt to divert attention.” It feels established firms will still have to pay an exorbitant amount of fees to Google.

“Even if the commission is reduced to 15% for everybody flat, it is still very high. It’s not just the high commission but Google mandating app developers to remove other payment gateways," CEO of another app company said.

In general, the word from the Indian app ecosystem is that Google's offer does not amount to relaxation from its previous stand.

Google to continue to take inputs from developers

Google, for its part, said, more than 97% of apps globally do not sell digital goods, and therefore do not pay any service fee. 

Android and Google Play have always listened to our developer partners from around the world and we continue to take their input into account as we build and run the ecosystem, it added.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.