Tinder finds a way to avoid Google Play subscription cut

Anne Freier

In App Business. July 30, 2019

Tinder appears to be making a run for it as the app maker foregoes app store fees, instead choosing to take payments from Android users directly.

App stores such as the Google Play store and Apple App Store take a 30% cut from app developers for subscription revenues. Much like a store tax, Apple and Google have argued that these costs are justified to keep the platforms running.

Epic Games, the maker of the successful Fortnite gaming app, had previously opted to rebel against the fees. Fortnite is now distributed directly via the Samsung store and through Epic Games’ own channels.

Tinder however appears to have taken a slightly more unusual approach. The dating app is still available via Google Play, but its new payment process takes payments from users directly foregoing the Google Play system.

It appears that Tinder is relying on its popularity alone in assuming that Google won’t pull the app over the work-around.

Unfortunately for Google, Tinder may have a point there. Data published earlier this year by Sensor Tower reveals that Tinder is the top app in terms of revenues across both Google and Apple app stores. App Annie made similar predictions on Tinder’s popularity in terms of consumer spending.

Meanwhile, Spotify recently argued that the subscription charges taken by Apple were unfair as the company’s own entertainment arm Apple Music was making the full $10 per month in subscription fees, whilst Spotify would only make $7.

Google did not comment on the news that Tinder was bypassing its payment system according to Bloomberg, but the Internet giant is unlikely to let the issue slide.