Tinder swipes left on the Google Play Store's payment platform

Tinder swipes left on the Google Play Store's payment platform
Dating app Tinder has a UI designed to allow users to make quick decisions on whom to meet. In fact, it has become part of pop culture. Swiping to the right on a profile indicates that you are interested in that person while swiping to the left means that you have no interest. According to Bloomberg, which cited research done by Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter, Tinder's parent company is swiping left on the Google Play Store's in-app subscription platform. Similar to music streamer Spotify's complaint against Apple, Tinder's parent company, the Match Group, objects to Google taking a 30% cut of in-app revenue generated in its app storefront.

Spotify took its complaint to the European Union's competition commission which has opened an antitrust investigation against Apple. But there is a huge difference between iOS and Android. Those using the former are essentially forced to use the App Store while Android users can easily sideload apps. That could be the difference between being called a monopoly or just an opportunist.

Apple responded by noting that the 30% cut that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek keeps mentioning actually drops to 15% after a year. As a result, Apple claims that a cut of 15% is being applied to only 680,000 Spotify members. These are subscribers who upgraded from the free tier to the premium tier of service between 2014-2016. After that time period, Spotify stopped allowing iOS users to upgrade through Apple's in-app payment system (iAP). Instead, payments for upgrades must be through Spotify's website.

Similarly, those using Tinder are being asked to enter their credit card information directly into Tinder's own payment platform. While Tinder is free, you are limited to 100 right swipes a day. With Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold, you get unlimited swipes and a few other perks as well. Tinder Gold also allows users to see who has swiped right on their profile. The latter costs $12 per month for a six-month subscription or $10 per month for a year's subscription. And Match Group has included an ingenious plan to keep subscribers wedded (see what we did there) to its own platform. After the first payment is made through Match Group, every subsequent payment will automatically take subscribers to the platform bypassing the Google Play Store's payment system.

Other companies, including Netflix, are looking to collect payments outside of Apple and Google's payment platforms


If all of this sounds familiar, and for reasons other than Spotify's complaints against Apple, it could be that what is happening with Tinder reminds you of what Epic Games did with Fortnite. One of the most popular video games ever, Fortnite had to be sideloaded from Epic Games' own website to be installed on Android devices. This was done to avoid the 30% cut of revenue that Google would have taken on in-app subscriptions.


More companies are looking to avoid both the App Store and Google Play Store in-app payment systems. Last December, Netflix stopped allowing new and returning subscribers using iOS to pay for their subscriptions using the App Store. And even Apple's own customers are concerned that the tech giant is forcing them to pay more for apps because of its 30% cut. In fact, a large number of iOS users are part of a class-action suit that claims Apple's role as a monopoly is forcing them to pay more for apps. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that the suit can continue. Apple argued that it merely distributes apps sold to iOS users by third-party developers. That position helped it win a unanimous verdict from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. But the Supreme Court decided that Apple is actually more than just a distributor of apps and cited the contracts it signs with these developers as proof of that.

Both Google and Apple argue that they are providing a high-profile storefront for developers to sell their apps and that they aren't being unreasonable for asking them to make contributions to the eco-systems that allow their apps to thrive.

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10 Comments

2. AbhiD

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

So all these companies want their apps to be hosted by Google n Apple, want free publicity, reach, mint money with it, but don't want to pay a penny to Google and Apple for all these services. AMAZING! Fortnite on Android is an example of what happens when companies try to be oversmart. By not hosting the game on Play Store and save a few bucks, Fortnite actually ended up losing much more than they might have saved. Android adoption of Fortnite is a massive FLOP. Most people out there prefer to install from familiar and secure place, not 3rd party websites.

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This is such a dumb uninformed comment lol Devs already pay $99/year for the App Store and $25 for Play Store hosting Credit card fees are up to 3% IMO 30% is far too much and abuse of their duopoly I hope they get forced to drop their cut to 5%

5. bigstrudel

Posts: 594; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

99 dollars a year is nothing for a store front. How much would it cost to rent a high traffic location brick and mortar? You literally know nothing about business. Please think again before you comment again please about business topics you dunce consumer.

6. Vancetastic

Posts: 1104; Member since: May 17, 2017

You should be more openly hostile.

9. Plutonium239

Posts: 1199; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

You do realize that ios would be nothing without the developers, correct? Apple owes its success to those who develop the apps.

7. Mike88

Posts: 329; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

This is nothing but just greed of some companies, once they started getting subscribers they start to feel why can't they keep all the money. Why are they have to pay to some company who hosts their app on their app store... This greed will hit them hard on face.

8. MihaiRO

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 07, 2019

Anyway: Tinder is good for nothing!!!

10. Plutonium239

Posts: 1199; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

It shouldn't be a percent cut out of every purchase, app developers should have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to have their apps in the app store for paid apps or apps that have in game purchases.

11. mariosraptor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

And I'd say this. Let's suppose apple stops making ios and Google Android. Will all these companies that complain get any money at all? No. Cause there won't be any platform to sell to.

12. mariosraptor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Oh. And I don't see Netflix or Spotify or tinder reducing their price. Instead they're raising them. Tell me who's more greedy?

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