In what could be a significant blow to Google’s expansion plans for the Play Store, Tinder today removed Google Play Store integration within its Android app (via Bloomberg). Going forward, Tinder users who want to subscribe to premium services will enter their credit card information directly into the app.
Previously, your recurring subscription payments for Tinder would process through the Play Store, which earned Google a percentage. Without Google Play integration in the app, Google will lose out on that income.
Tinder is almost always in the top-ten when it comes to non-gaming money-making apps on the Play Store, with the app earning a record $275 million last year. From January 2012 to August 2018, Tinder made more money from the Play Store than Netflix, Pandora, and HBO Now. While the cut Google makes from Tinder is a drop in the bucket as far as its overall revenue, this is still a big problem for the search giant.
Reportedly, Match Group — the company that owns Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com — is making this move to spite Google due to the high percentage Google takes from Match’s Google Play Store revenue. For most apps, this can be as high as 30 percent, although larger apps like Tinder might have a better deal.
Spotify and Netflix have also been critical of Google and Apple when it comes to the cut that the respective app stores take from app revenue. Epic Games — the company behind the smash-hit game Fortnite — made headlines when it decided to side-step the Google Play Store entirely for the Android version of the game, likely in part to avoid that revenue sharing policy.
Google will likely need to do something soon to prevent these high-earning apps from abandoning the platform. If it doesn’t, this could herald the beginning of a mass exodus away from the Play Store.