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Google might finally let Play Store users break out of its billing system

Third-party billing is coming to Spotify with a possible expansion across the Google Play Store on the cards.
By
March 24, 2022
Google Play Store Add A Payment Method
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google just made a move that could give Android users more choice in how they pay for stuff on the Google Play Store and within apps.
  • The company has tied up with Spotify to introduce user-choice billing in a first-of-its-kind partnership.
  • Google is also working with other developers to test third-party billing in the Play Store that will allow users to bypass its own billing system.

Google and Spotify have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership that will give Android users a choice to pay for the music streaming service with a payment method other than Google Play Billing.

Users who have downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will soon get an option to pay either with Google’s billing system or Spotify’s payment method.

This is the first time that Google is allowing a third-party payment method for in-app purchases, marking a drastic shift in how it has done business for years. The company currently controls payments in the Play Store to get a commission, usually between 15% and 30%.

It’s also good news for Android users as the partnership with Spotify could be a precursor to a much wider availability of third-party billing across the Play Store. In fact, Google said as much in a blog post to developers.

Google’s new pilot program to test user-choice billing will allow a small number of participating apps to offer an additional billing option next to Google Play’s billing. Spotify is Google’s first partner in this endeavor.

“This is a significant milestone and the first on any major app store — whether on mobile, desktop or game consoles,” Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management at Google, said in the blog post.

Meanwhile, in a press release announcing the tie-up, Spotify said that it’s working with Google’s engineering team to roll out the new billing experience in countries around the world.

We’ve emailed Spotify to ask which countries will get the option first and if Google will still get a cut of the purchases made through the third-party payment system.