The engagement of Indian apps and games on Google Play saw a major uptick between 2019 and 2021, according to Google Play’s blog post commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the app aggregating platform. According to the data, there was a 200 per cent increase in active monthly users of Indian apps and games on the Google Play platform between 2019 and 2021. In the same time period, there was a 150 per cent increase in time spent by users outside India on these apps and platforms. Consumer spending for Indian apps and games also increased by 80 per cent between 2019 and 2021.
Flaws in billing system
These numbers come at a time when the Android app platform is getting significant scrutiny from India’s anti-monopoly watchdog, Competition Commission of India, which noted that the billing system for app developers has been unfair and discriminatory.
The antitrust body submitted the report after taking inputs from all developers and the larger ecosystem. Consequently, the body is quite convinced that the Play Store Billing policy may impact developers adversely if implemented.
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In 2020, Google announced that the company would make it mandatory for any app offering digital goods and services to use the Play Store’s billing system. It also added that the company would charge the app developer a 30 per cent cut on all such in-app purchases.
Initially, the deadline for developers in India to integrate with Play’s billing system was announced as September 30, 2021. Google extended the deadline to March 31, 2022, to push it further to October 2022.
“From leading in app adoptions to emerging as a large global developer hub, India will play a critical role in the evolution of the global app ecosystem in the coming decade. At Google Play, we have always been committed to helping Indian developers of all sizes build successful, locally relevant businesses,” noted Google Play.