Google said that Spotify, the popular streaming music service, will be able to bill Android customers for access to the Google Play version of Spotify, bypassing the Google Play billing system. Back in March of this year, the firm disclosed its desire to establish a third-party charging alternative, with Spotify as the inaugural tester.
Spotify is Google’s first partner for “User Choice Billing”, this feature allows Android users to pay with the payment method of their choice. User Choice Billing is simply a lower-cost alternate solution for billing options for in-app purchases.
Furthermore, Bumble recently united with Google to test user choice billing in its own app, with intentions to push out the options to customers in certain locations in the coming months.
Developers that want to employ user choice billing must follow Google’s UX standards, which outline how to incorporate the feature in their apps. Currently, these rules require developers to present an information screen as well as a separate billing selection screen. The guidelines say that the information screen must only be presented to each customer the first time they initiate a transaction, but the billing choice page must be shown before every purchase. Other requirements include when and how the screens should be shown, as well as how the user interface should look.
Spotify customers on Android will get a new user interface with the launch, allowing them to select the method they prefer to pay for their Spotify membership. For the first time, Google Play billing and Spotify billing will coexist. If the customer chooses Google Play billing, they will be taken back to the standard experience and will be able to follow their subscription via the Google Play Store’s Subscription Center. If the user chooses Spotify billing, the user will be taken via Spotify’s checkout procedure and user experience.
“Going forward, Android users will soon be able to choose how to pay for their Spotify subscription in the way that best suits them,” Spotify wrote in a newsroom post. “Google has taken a bold step to help level the playing field, but this is just the beginning.”
Spotify will be able to collect money from users directly, and Google will charge Spotify 4% less than usual. Spotify and other developers who implement User Choice Billing will still have to give Google a part of their app sales and purchases, albeit at a lower rate. Google, like Apple, often earns between 15% and 30% of in-app sales.
For years, Spotify has actively advocated for platform fairness and additional payment alternatives. Fair and open platforms, we think, offer better, seamless customer experiences while also empowering developers to imagine, innovate, and prosper.
User Choice Billing from Google is an option in 35 countries, including the United States, much of Europe, Australia, Japan, and more, and it is a pilot program that other developers are also able to join.
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