Spotify members have been unable to pay through Apple’s App Store or Google Play for years since the music streaming service has refused to pay the tech giants up to 30% of all payments processed through their platforms. Third-party billing methods are likewise prohibited in both app stores.
Spotify and Google have now achieved an agreement on this matter.
Spotify and Google announced on Wednesday that they had reached a deal for a multi-year period that includes user-choice charging. Users who download Spotify from the Google Play Store will be able to pick between paying via Spotify’s payment system or Google Play Billing for the first time – two payment alternatives that will be available within the app.
The two payment choices will be side-by-side in the app for the first time; previously, Google Play did not allow developers to allow their apps to accept direct payment. (At the moment, you must join up for Spotify and pay for it outside of the Android app.) Under the new agreement, Spotify would pay Google a portion of membership prices for sales made through Google’s app store — an amount less than 30%, but neither company would specify the exact figure.
Spotify has publicly chastised Google and Apple’s app shops for their policies. Customers still can’t pay for Spotify through Apple’s App Store. Spotify has sided with Epic Games, the creators of “Fortnite,” in their legal battle against Apple’s developer regulations. Epic was largely unsuccessful in an original verdict, which it has appealed.
Spotify is one of a select few app developers that will be able to charge their subscribers directly, although Google did not specify which other apps will be allowed to do so. Google also didn’t provide a date for introducing user-choice billing, nor did it specify which countries it will be implemented in.
The change to user-choice billing comes just one day after Spotify announced it will rebrand its live audio chat product Greenroom as Spotify Live and transfer it to the main app. The transition will occur in the second quarter of 2022.