Developers are subject to a Google Play service fee based on a percentage of the purchase price or digital purchases in their app. Only 3% of developers on Google Play are subject to a service fee; the other 97% of developers can distribute their apps and take advantage of all Google Play has to offer at no charge.
The service fee reflects the value provided by Android and Google Play, and all of the developer services we offer, including app distribution and discovery, the commerce platform, developer tools, analytics, training, and more.Why does Google Play charge a service fee?
The service fee is how we support our ongoing investments in Android and Google Play, reflects the value provided by Android and Google Play, and is how we earn money as a business. Just as it costs money to develop, launch, and market an app, it costs money to develop, launch, and market an operating system and app store. This is a common business model for app and games stores run by Microsoft, Apple, Steam, Nintendo, Amazon, and others.
There isn't a single service fee as developers operate in different industries that require different levels of support to build sustainable businesses. 99% of developers who are subject to a service fee qualify for a fee of 15% or less.
- The service fee is 15% for the first $1 million of earnings each year when enrolled and 30% subsequently, which gives smaller developers more help as they scale their business.
- The fee for all subscriptions revenue is 15%, reflecting developer investment in keeping subscribers for the long run.
- Developers in certain programs, like the Play Media Experience Program, may be eligible for a reduced fee based on high content costs.
Only the 3% of developers who charge for their app or offer digital goods are subject to a service fee. This means that 97% of developers can distribute their app and utilize all of our developer tools and services at no cost.
The service fee supports our investments across Android and Google Play, reflects the value provided by Android and Google Play, enables us to deliver an affordable and innovative user experience, helps developers reach users and build sustainable businesses, and keeps the platform safe and secure.
Major investment areas include:
- Android & the Google Play Store: The free Android operating system enables hardware manufacturers to build a wide range of devices at different price points that gives users unprecedented choice. And the Google Play Store delivers the world's largest selection of apps and games, available in over 190 countries with personalized recommendations and easy discovery of high-quality apps.
- New Android platforms: We build platforms for new form factors such as Auto and TV to help developers increase their reach in new ways.
- Security: Consumers trust Android and Google Play because of its security, the reviews of apps to ensure they comply with policies around safety and privacy, and with automated security of Google Play Protect that scans over 100 billion apps per day.
- App distribution: Developers can instantly reach over three billion Android users with the ability to optimize delivery by device and functionality and provide ongoing updates.
- Developer tools: Developers can run experiments, beta test, optimize store listings, analyze performance, and more.
- Billing system: Users enjoy safe and trusted payments, while developers can easily transact with 700 million users using Google Play gift cards and locally relevant forms of payment.
Helping developers innovate and grow is core to our mission and we keep investing in our platform, tools, and services to support them. We make it easy for developers to distribute their app to billions of Android users and earn money from people around the world in their preferred local form of payment.
Additionally, Google Play provides tools and services to help developers manage their app releases, promotional and re-engagement opportunities in the Play Store, tools to run experiments and optimize performance, data analytics, technical support, free training with the Play Academy, and more.
We are committed to having a business model that allows us to continue to invest in Android and Play, but we understand that all developers aren’t the same and a one size fits all approach doesn’t work. For the majority of developers that business model is our service fee, which for more than 99% of developers is 15% or less. A small number of developers that invest more directly in Android and Play may have different service fees as part of a broader partnership that includes substantial financial investments and product integrations across all form factors. These key investment partnerships allow us to bring more users to Android and Play by continuously improving the experience for all users and create new opportunities for all developers.
As a result of recent legislation, we will offer all developers the ability to offer an alternative in-app billing system alongside Google Play's billing system for South Korean users making in-app purchases within Play-distributed apps on mobile phones and tablets.
Developers will still be subject to a service fee for transactions using an alternative in-app billing system, but the service fee will be reduced by 4%. For example, when the service fee is 15% for transactions through Google Play's billing system, it will be 11% for transactions made through an alternative billing system. Read our blog for additional details.