Google’s new revenue-sharing policy for subscriptions has started taking effect. Under the new policy, the subscription revenue split has become more generous to developers. Following a similar move made by Apple in 2016.
Last year, there was a rumor that Google was going to follow Apple’s footsteps and improve its subscription revenue split with providers by only deducting 15% instead of 30% for distribution and miscellaneous fees. At the time, Recode was optimistic that Google would make the change universal, so that any time a user subscribed to something, the provider would only lose 15% in fees.
We didn’t hear anything about this until now, thanks to a bunch of changes published on the Google Developers Blog. There, we learned that subscription revenue sharing with be lowered from 30% to 15%, but unlike last year’s hopeful rumor and much like Apple’s terms, they will only apply for users retained after 12 months.
Meaning if you’re a developer who offers in-app subscriptions, you will get 30% cut off the bill from each paid user for the first 12 months that they purchase your product. After those 12 months are done (and it seems like it has to be continuous, so no breaks), you will only lose 15% of the subscription price to fees. That will continue as long as you keep the user on board. I guess it’s better than always cutting 30% off, but I can imagine how difficult 12 months of user retention are.