Google usually doesn’t allow third party billing in its Play Store, like most other tech giants with their own platforms. This helped the company rake in billions by taking a cut off those payments, which was a whopping 30% until Google reduced it to 15% last year. Finally in March this year, Google decided to try out User Choice Billing in partnership with Spotify.
Users who’ve downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will be presented with a choice to pay with either Spotify’s payment system or with Google Play Billing. For the first time, these two options will live side by side in the app. This will give everyone the freedom to subscribe and make purchases using the payment option of their choice directly in the Spotify app.
This seems to be an exclusive partnership with Spotify, as Google usually doesn’t offer payment options in other apps yet. Google is calling this the initial pilot for User Choice Billing, which likely means they have plans to roll it out to selected apps or just universally on the platform.
In a recent announcement from Spotify, the company is finally rolling out the first test implementation of UCB to subscribers in selected regions. As you can see in the gif below, after the UCB update, Spotify will offer users multiple payment options, which was only limited to Google Play option before.
While it is great that Google is finally doing a User Choice Billing pilot, the company would be forced to do so anyways in due time. Regulators around the world are taking note of the extreme control some of these tech giants have by owning the distribution platforms. Just recently Google was forced to expand the third-party billing pilot to India after market regulators there fined the company $162 million for anti-competitive practices.