In the past few years, the big app store providers have come more and more into the focus of competition authorities; this is usually about the de facto obligation to have a presence there, as well as the share of sales that are retained. But there are exceptions.
Apple rules over iOS developers, Google has Android providers in their pockets. That’s the simple reality of today’s app economy. In the case of Android, it is possible to install applications via what is known as sideloading, but this does not matter to the general public, as they visit the Google Play Store when they search for apps and will continue to do so.
In the past, a revenue share of 30 percent was the rule, now both Apple and Google have lowered the cut to 15 percent – at least for developers or apps with sales of less than one million dollars. But there are also dealings and haggling behind the scenes, as new documents that have been leaked to The Verge show.
Netflix gets special treatment
These show that you can negotiate better terms, even if you generate (far) more than the aforementioned million dollars in sales, i.e. if you are a particularly important source of sales. Just like Netflix: Google was so “frustrated” that Netflix publicly complained about the Play Store that they had offered the streaming company a deal in which the search engine giant granted a “significantly reduced share of sales”.
The aim was to persuade Netflix to continue to use the Play Store’s accounting system. The amazing thing is that Spotify and Tinder, which are of similar size and importance, were not offered a comparable deal.
Another very interesting piece of information in the latest documents is that, according to internal calculations by Google, you would be in the profit zone with a stake of six percent – that is significantly less than the previous 15 percent minimum.
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