Spotify has just signed an agreement with Google to offer its own payment system to Android users.
For the past few months, the two most popular application download platforms in the world, the Google Play Store (for Android smartphones) and the App Store (for iPhones), have been at the heart of a lively controversy. This affair, which is actually several years old, took a major turn almost two years ago, when Epic Games, through its video game Fortnite refused to submit to the laws, and commissions, of the App Store.
While the two platforms apply a 30% commission to all purchases made, Epic Games decides to break the silence and override this rule which it finds “anti-competitive”. There is indeed no other solution for developers who want to put their applications on the Play Store or the App Store. They are obliged to go through the Apple or Google payment system, and therefore to be deprived of a good part of their income, 30% in total.
But for a few months, things have been changing, and legislation is falling one by one on Apple and Google so that the monopoly of the two companies are less on their own platforms of application downloads. After a legal battle, the two internet giants had to comply with the law and offer workarounds.
A win-win partnership for Spotify and Google?
If the laws have been passed for a few weeks now, the first concrete applications of these will be put in place. Dissatisfied with this commission system, the Spotify music streaming application will be one of the first to be entitled to a third-party payment system on the Google Play Store.
For the moment neither Spotify nor Google has made any announcement on the price, and given the first declarations and the enthusiasm displayed by the G teams of GAFAM, the prices should remain the same, it would even be possible that the “pay via Google Play” option remains the default functionality.
Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management at Google, said it was an exciting first step and he hopes “add new partners and learn how this model could be extended across the platform.”
Apple: the great absentee
If the exact contours of this partnership are not yet known, which should be implemented later this year, this announcement still leaves a void. Indeed, Apple is sorely lacking in the debates. The apple brand is not Spotify’s best friend, and, moreover, it seems very reluctant to let third-party applications offer their own payment system.
When we know that the App Store generated a little more than 70 billion dollars in 2021, we immediately understand much better why Apple is holding back its four irons to keep its commission. But despite the reluctance, Apple will have to come to terms with it eventually.and give up, at least in part, its 30% commission.