Spotify Officially Launches Play Store Pilot “User Choice Billing”

Photo credit: Mitchell Luo

In March, Google and Spotify announced a “revolutionary” agreement for “user-choice billing”, which gives subscribers the choice of paying for the music streaming app through Google Play Billing or the Spotify platform. herself. Now, companies have officially started rolling out direct billing in “selected markets.”

The Stockholm-based streaming service instead pointedly touted the start of the payment option’s test via an official announcement post; Spotify remains embroiled in a long-running dispute with Apple over App Store fees and policies.

And Google, for its part, has made it clear that other non-gaming Android developers can also apply to participate in the pilot, which is currently expanding to countries in the European Economic Area as well as Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, and the United States

Spotify doesn’t appear to have publicly identified the specific countries in which it has already added user-choice billing, but executives have communicated plans to “expand our test to even more markets” over the “coming weeks.” “.

Predictably, given the aforementioned App Store dispute with Apple, Spotify also took the opportunity to compliment Google, which the music service says is working “to help level the playing field.” Game”.

“Google has taken a bold step to help level the playing field,” Spotify wrote, “but this is just the beginning. We look forward to testing, learning, and iterating on an ever-improving experience to our users in markets around the world.

On that front, it emerged in late October that Apple had rejected Spotify’s latest update – including support for audiobooks, which the platform adopted in September – at least three times.

Although said update was eventually accepted after Spotify removed in-app verbiage about purchasing audiobooks through its website, according to reports, the process (and overall dispute) stands in stark contrast to the update. available the latest version of the application on the Play Store. To be sure, Google would have quickly approved the Spotify update.

Meanwhile, in September, Spotify chief Daniel Ek personally traveled to Brussels in a bid to “speed up” the European Union’s investigation into the App Store’s 30% fee on certain in-app transactions. Spotify first filed the underlying antitrust complaint in March 2019, and the European Commission launched an investigation into the matter in June 2020.

At the time of this writing, Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) stock was up nearly 5% from Thursday’s close, for a price per share of $82.01. The 16-year-old firm sparked another round of layoffs days ago and is reportedly considering a deal to buy Middle Eastern streaming platform Anghami.

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