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As part of its campaign against Apple’s “unfair” App Store, Spotify is now partnering with Google to offer “User Choice Billing,” where Android users can decide which company to pay their subscriptions to.
Spotify has long argued that it’s “just unfair” how users of the streamer’s iOS app should pay through the App Store. Now it has announced a new partnership with Google, where Auusers can choose how they want to pay their Spotify subscription fee.
Android users who download the Spotify app from the Google Play Store will be asked to choose whether to use Google Play Billing or via Spotify’s own payment service.
“Spotify is on a years-long journey to ensure app developers have the freedom to innovate and compete on a level playing field,” said Alex Norstrom, Chief Freemium Business Officer, in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Google to explore this approach to payment choice and capabilities for developers, users and the entire internet ecosystem.”
“We hope that the work we will do together will pave a path that will benefit the rest of the industry,” he continued.
“Android has always been about openness and user choice,” said Sameer Samat, vice president, product management at Google, in the same announcement. “This move is an important milestone for mobile app stores and I can’t imagine a better first partner than Spotify.”
“This is an exciting first step,” he continued, “and we look forward to adding new partners and learning how to extend this model across the platform.”
It’s not clear whether users will see a price difference between the two payment methods. Neither Google nor Spotify have commented on whether this will change the discount the Google Play Store gets from subscription sales.
However, Google’s Sameer Samat said Spotify understands the importance and ongoing investments in Android and Play for the health of the entire ecosystem. And Spotify has said it will continue to offer “discounts and promotions”.
User choice billing coming in 2022
The new “User Choice Billing” feature will be rolled out to users “in the coming months.” Spotify says it expects to launch “the first iteration” later in 2022, and it will eventually be available to users in countries around the world.
Spotify is one of the founding members of the Coalition for App Fairness, although that organization was founded with funding from Epic Games.
Separately, Apple previously told the US Senate Judiciary Committee that criticism of the App Store, like Spotify’s, is based solely on “complaints related to business disputes.”