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Spotify’s Special Deal with Google: A Closer Look at App Store Agreements

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Spotify’s Special Deal with Google: A Closer Look at App Store Agreements-GadgetAny
Spotify

Spotify made a special deal with Google to avoid paying fees on the Play Store, as revealed in the ongoing Epic v. Google trial in San Francisco. According to The Verge, Spotify doesn’t pay any commission to Google when users sign up for subscriptions using Spotify’s payment system on Android. If users sign up through Google, Spotify pays only a four percent commission, much less than the usual fifteen percent for subscriptions on the Google Play Store.

During the trial, Don Harrison, Google’s partnerships head, stressed how important it is for Spotify to work well on Android phones. He said, “Listening to music is one of [the phone’s] core purposes… if we don’t have Spotify working properly across Play services and core services, people will not buy Android phones.” As part of this deal, both Google and Spotify put $50 million each into a “success fund.”

This info came up in a lawsuit by Epic Games against Google in 2020, where Epic argued that Google’s Play Store on Android is an illegal monopoly. Google defended itself, saying some developers in broader partnerships might have different service fees, improving the Android and Play experience. Originally, Spotify supported Epic in its legal battle against Google and Apple. However, in 2022, Spotify started using Google’s User Choice Billing program, letting Android apps use their payment systems while giving Google a reduced cut.

The recent court revelation showed Google’s willingness to make exceptions for popular apps like Spotify. Google faced disclosures about its business practices recently. In a separate trial, a professor revealed that Google pays Apple thirty-six percent of all ad revenue generated through Apple’s Safari browser. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed this during the Epic v. Google trial. Also, Google offered Netflix a deal, suggesting a ten percent commission, which Netflix turned down. Netflix chose not to provide users with a direct sign-up option in its Android app.

In summary, Spotify made a special deal with Google to avoid Play Store fees, paying no commission for in-app subscriptions via its payment system on Android. If users sign up through Google, Spotify pays only a four percent commission. The trial unveiled Google’s willingness to make exceptions for popular apps. Google’s business practices were under scrutiny, including its payments to Apple and custom deals with apps like Netflix. These details emerged in the ongoing Epic v. Google trial, shedding light on the behind-the-scenes workings of app store agreements.

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Omal J

By Omal J

I worked for both print and electronic media as a feature journalist. Writing, traveling, and DIY sum up her life.

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