Bandcamp won’t have to worry about Google pulling its app from the Play Store in the near future. The music service has reached a deal that will allow it to use its existing built-in payment system on Android while parent company Epic Games pursues its antitrust lawsuit against Google. Artists will continue to receive the same share as before, but Bandcamp will put 10% of Android-related sales revenue in escrow until the case is resolved. The company said in a blog post that it would absorb that cost rather than pass it on to musicians.
The arrangement takes effect June 1, the same day Google is set to enforce a new rule requiring apps like Bandcamp’s to only use the Play Store billing system for in-app purchases. Google will always have the power to enforce Play Store policies beyond the exception provided in this Agreement.
This decision is a compromise for both parties. Epic had sought a preliminary injunction that would have prohibited Google from removing the app from Bandcamp without the escrow requirement. He has long argued that Google’s billing requirement would hurt both artists and his own bottom line by reducing their revenue share and delaying payments. Google, meanwhile, claimed that Bandcamp and Epic were simply trying to avoid paying for the “value” of the Play Store and that the 10% fee is lower than what those companies charge through their own systems.
Whatever the arguments, the pact may be good news for music creators. While Bandcamp could change its payouts if Epic loses its lawsuit, that likely won’t be imminent. Artists can expect the status quo to continue for some time.
Update for 5/20 at 12:25 p.m. ET: Google told Engadget in a statement that it would “continue to defend itself” against Epic’s efforts to “not pay value” for the Play Store.
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