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Google Play Store Policy Changes: Developers Facing New Fees in 2024

Discover how Google's updated Play Store fees impact app developers and explore potential solutions.
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In order to comply with the Digital Market Act (DMA), recently adopted by the European Union, Google announced the addition of new fees for developers on its Play Store. This approach is reminiscent of that of Apple, which also imposed additional fees on developers under the pretext of guaranteeing the security and quality of the applications present on its platforms.

Google Play Store and DMA: Developers Facing New Fees - Illustration of developers and digital market concept

Controversial new fees

Google recently announced a major update to its fee structure for developers using the Play Store, introducing two new types of fees that could have a big impact on how apps are monetized and distributed.

First, Google imposes an upfront acquisition fee. These fees will be 10% for in-app purchases and 5% for two-year subscriptions. This decision is justified by Google as “retribution for the added value that the Play Store provides by facilitating the acquisition of new users.”.

In addition to acquisition fees, Google is also introducing ongoing service fees. These will amount to 17% for in-app purchases and 7% for subscriptions. These would be caused by services such as parental controls, security scanning, fraud prevention, and constant app updates.

Google's justification

For its part, Google defends itself by asserting that the added fees reflect the value provided by Android and the Play Store and that they support the investments made to maintain the security, performance, and resilience of the services offered to users.

The company also insists that these fees help create a sustainable ecosystem for developers and users.

Comparison with Apple's strategy

By adding these additional fees, Google is following in the footsteps of Apple, which had also imposed similar fees on developers as part of the App Store's compliance with new European regulations.

The two companies are often accused of abusing their dominant position in the mobile application market and imposing draconian conditions on developers.

Consequences for developers

With these new fees, developers may be forced to rethink their business model to be able to continue distributing their applications on the Google and Apple platforms. Especially since these fees will apply even if developers decide not to use the Play Store and go through a third-party application store.

The growing controversy

This announcement from Google concerning the addition of additional fees for developers has sparked controversy within the digital industry. Some believe that this constitutes an obstacle to free competition and that digital giants like Google and Apple take advantage of their dominant positions to impose this type of fee.

Developers trapped?

Faced with this situation, developers could be forced to choose between paying additional fees to continue distributing their applications on the Google and Apple platforms or turning to other solutions, which could prove less advantageous in terms of exposure. and profitability.

The new European regulations were initially supposed to facilitate access to a more open and competitive market, but with these fees, it is likely that the situation will become even more complicated for players in the sector.

What is the outcome for developers in the face of these additional costs?

In this tense context, it seems difficult for developers to find a satisfactory solution to avoid these additional costs.

But some observers believe that this could encourage market players to explore alternatives to digital giants and thus encourage the emergence of new players capable of competing with Google and Apple.

What solutions?

Reevaluation of Prices and Monetization Models

With the introduction of acquisition and ongoing service fees, developers may need to review their pricing structures to absorb these additional costs. This could involve increasing the prices of subscriptions and in-app purchases or exploring alternative monetization models, such as advertising or crowdfunding.

User acquisition optimization

In response to upfront acquisition costs, developers might look to optimize their user acquisition strategy, focusing on more effective and less expensive methods of attracting and retaining users, such as organic or word-of-mouth marketing. -by ear.

Direct Development on the Website

While this option may present challenges in terms of user exposure and convenience, directing users to a website to make purchases or subscriptions can help circumvent fees imposed by app stores.

Diversification of Distribution Platforms

Developers can explore the possibility of distributing their apps on alternative platforms to the Play Store, although this may present challenges in terms of visibility and market access.

Pooling resources with other developers

Collaboration between developers to create common solutions or alternative platforms could be an avenue to explore. This type of initiative could help reduce costs while providing some visibility.

Advocacy and industrial collaboration

Developers, particularly those who are part of larger networks or associations, could engage in collective advocacy to negotiate with Google or influence policy changes, relying on regulatory entities to defend their interests.

Google Play Store and DMA: Developers Facing New Fees - FAQ

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