Launching Notes from Google Play | A year of evolution

Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Vice President, Google Play Partnerships

Notes from Play title card

Hello there,

Today we are kicking off Notes from Google Play, a new series where several times a year we celebrate your creativity and impact, and share key insights and best practices, to inspire you to be bolder, go further, and build even more innovative apps and games.

Purnima Kochikar addresses our goals behind the 'Notes from Google Play' series.

2021 continued to be a year of challenges and uncertainty, and you inspired us by your ability to turn obstacles into useful and joyful apps and services. Your apps helped over 2.5 billion people using Android devices learn, connect, relax, exercise, laugh, have fun, and so much more. As a result, developers making over 1M USD per month with Google Play’s billing or having 10 million monthly active users grew by 30% this year.

In this inaugural edition of Notes from Google Play we celebrate your creativity and resilience. A developer who exemplified these traits and deeply moved and inspired me and my team is Mohammed Kamara. Thank you, Mo for channeling deep personal loss to create a better world for women of color, providing affordable and customized healthcare through the app. We are humbled to play a small part in making your vision for InovCares a reality.

Mohamed Kamara, CEO and Founder of InovCares, tells the story behind his groundbreaking healthcare app.

A special shout out also goes to the winners of the Best of Google Play Awards and the Indie Games Festival. All of you inspire us to continue to work hard to evolve Play and Android to enable you to build great apps and successful businesses.

This focus on you and your success resulted in many impactful developments in 2021, including the evolution of our business model and new product features and tools. At Google Play we are focused on two key goals - helping you build and grow sustainable global businesses and investing in Android and Play platform features, tools, and ecosystems to enable you to build innovative apps and games.

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Supporting your business growth

As the mobile industry has matured, you have created app businesses that have varying needs, so we’ve designed multiple programs to support you. For example, we created the Play Media Experience Program to encourage Video, Audio, and Books developers to build great cross-device experiences, while enabling apps that support authors & musicians by discounting the service fee as low as 10%. A few months ago we announced a new fee structure to support the evolution of the subscriptions business model, allowing all subscription app developers to benefit from lower fees. Due to the innovative changes we announced this year, I’m thrilled to share that 99% of developers globally now qualify for a service fee of 15% or less. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback while we were designing these programs and your vocal support since the launch of the new fee structure.

We have also continued to invest in programs to help you reach, retain, and re-engage your users.

  • Google Play Pass is now available in 90 countries with over 800 games and apps; those of you participating have on average more than doubled your revenue across participating titles in these regions.
  • Google Play Points is now available in 28 countries. By interacting with and paying for your apps, consumers have earned over 20 billion points to date.

Helping you build high quality apps

We are committed to empowering you to turn your creative ideas into excellent apps and have created tools and guidelines to help ensure your apps are of high quality. I invite you to pay attention to three key features/guidelines:

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Helping you build user trust and loyalty

Trust and safety are the cornerstones of sustainable business success and key to user loyalty. This year, we continued to invest in platform features and policies that help you build safer apps and strengthen user trust. We also heard your feedback and have invested in educational tools and resources to help you anticipate and understand the new features and policies. The key highlights this year -

  • Earlier this year, we shared details about the upcoming Data safety section in the Play store, which will let users know the type of data your app collects, stores, and how that data is used. By giving you a way to showcase your approach to privacy-and-security, we’re not only building user trust, we’re helping people make informed decisions about the apps they install and use.
  • To help you protect your business from abuse and your users from attack we created the Play Integrity API, which lets your backend server determine whether it’s interacting with your genuine app binary, installed by Google Play, and running on a genuine Android device that’s powered by Google Play services.
  • To help you build safer and more trusted apps, we have created webinars and new Google Play Console features to help you anticipate and understand policy changes, policy violations, and the process to appeal a decision. Please opt-in to receive email invites to upcoming policy webinars.

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Fostering the next generation of developers

Nothing excites me more than finding and nurturing the next generation of talented developers and building local ecosystems around the world that address local needs. Earlier this year we announced a reduced service fee tier of 15% on the first $1M in annual earnings for all developers, helping us continue to foster innovation on Android/Play.

It has been truly humbling to see key influencers, stakeholders, and industry and government leaders co-invest with us in this effort. Our most successful developers invested personal time and energy to mentor, coach, and grow Indies through the Indie Games Accelerator. Government leaders partnered with us to support startup ecosystems in countries like Korea and India - the ChangGoo program in Korea has been created in partnership with Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED), whereas the Appscale Academy in India was established in partnership with the MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Thank you all for your commitment to innovation and the app ecosystem.

Get a snapshot view of Appscale Academy: our growth and development program for startups across India.

Staying connected

I have missed seeing you in person over the last two years. The challenges imposed by COVID-19 helped us find new ways to stay connected. Many of you participated in virtual sessions to learn about new market opportunities and engaged in thoughtful online discussions on topics as diverse as Future of Work, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Growth and Global expansion strategies. Some of you also told us that you are feeling some online event fatigue, so this year we also invested in content that you can consume at your own pace including thought leadership and best practices, and e-learning courses on Play Academy. We even launched our first certificate to help you get the most out of our store listing tools and features.

Until the next edition, from my team to yours, best wishes for the upcoming year. We hope you will always see Google Play as a partner to help you delight your users, expand your audience, and grow your business.

Happy Holidays.

Purnima Kochikar,

Vice President, Google Play Partnerships

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