Apple & Google Mobile App Fees: How Much Should You Pay in 2022?

Every mobile app developer knows it well: making money on the App Store and Google Play doesn’t come cheap. There is a significant price to pay for each dollar you generate via their platforms.

Developers have been complaining about the platforms commission fees for some time now, which forced Apple in 2020 and Google one year later to make some concessions already.

More recently, the legal battle between Epic Games vs. Apple showed the two giants still had the upper hand, even with the biggest game developers.

How much should you pay? We tell you everything in this article, read on.

How are commission fees calculated?

Before we actually dive into the respective fees Google and Apple charge developers, let’s first make something clear. The fees are calculated as a portion of revenues generated via their platforms. Yet, the fees are different on the type of revenues it relate to. The different types of revenues are:

  • Paid apps: a user purchase an app on the AppStore for $4.99 for example. You pay a commission to Apple for them to advertise your app on their platform, like any other type of reseller.
  • In-app purchases: a user buys $10 credit for a game via Google Play. You pay a commission to Google for facilitating the payment and participating to the revenue generated. Indeed, Google Play also advertised your app at some point to this user so she/he download your app. Your app might have been free to download (hence you didn’t pay any commission), yet all revenues generated with that user in the future will be subject to a revenue share (the commission)
  • In-app subscriptions: similar to the in-app purchases, whenever a user purchase a subscription to your mobile app product (a VIP membership for instance), you will pay a revenue share (the commission fees) on all of this user’s payments in the future. If the user pays $10 per month for example, and the commission is 30%, you will have to pay $3 per month back to Google or Apple
  • In-app advertising: the revenue you generate from ad impressions isn’t subject to any commissions
  • In-app sales of physical goods: if you sell physical products on your mobile app (which you send to your customers like an ecommerce business). You do not pay any commission fees here either

AppStore mobile app fees

Google and Apple commission fees
Google and Apple commission fees

Apple commission fees have changed since it introduced in January 2021 the “App Store Small Business Program”, lowering commissions to smaller businesses.

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Since Jan. 1st 2021, developers will need to pay commissions to Apple based on the amount of revenues they have made in the previous calendar year. In short:

  • Above $1 million revenues: developers pay the “standard” rate (30%)
  • Below $1 million revenues: developers must pay the lower rate (15%)

As explained in the previous section, commissions apply only on certain types of revenues. Only paid apps, in-app purchases and in-app subscriptions are subject to the commissions.

Yet, there is a catch: the standard 30% rate also reduces to 15% for subscription revenues under certain conditions. The rate depends on the seniority of each paid user:

  • For paid subscribers under 12 months: the revenues are subject to a 30% commission fee

Note: paid subscribers under 12 months are users who have been purchasing an in-app subscription for less than 12 months. Only period during which the users have actually been paying count in the calculation. As such, free trials are exclude. For example, if a user starts a membership with a 2 month free trial and pays for 12 months after that, the actual period is 10 months

  • For paid subscribers above 12 months: the revenues are subject to a 15% commission fee

The exception around subscription revenue share is actually benefiting developers: Apple will not charge you 30% forever but instead 15% for any user who has been paying the subscription for more than 12 months.

Google Play mobile app fees

When it comes to commission fees, Google closely followed Apple. Whilst the rates across all types of revenue are exactly the same (30% and 15% – see below), the same $1 million revenue threshold work slightly differently.

Since July 1st 2021, developers will need to pay commissions to Google based on the amount of revenues they have made in the current year:

  • Above $1 million revenues: developers pay the “standard” rate (30%)
  • Below $1 million revenues: developers must pay the lower rate (15%)

As for Apple, commissions apply only on certain types of revenues. Only paid apps, in-app purchases and in-app subscriptions are subject to the commissions.

Subscriptions are also subject to a standard 30% rate, which reduces to 15% for paid users above 12 months seniority too, like Apple.

The different vs. Apple is the way the $1 million threshold work:

  • For Google, in any given year, all revenues under $1 million are subject to 30% and any revenues beyond that subject to 15% instead
  • For Apple, the rate you pay depends on the previous calendar year’s revenue. If you made, for example, $1.1 million in the previous calendar year, you pay 30% on all this year’s revenues. As such, with Apple it’s either 30% or 15% on all revenues, not a combination of both

For more details on Google Play’s pricing for developers and their commission fees, click here.

Get help

If you are building projections for your mobile app business, don’t forget to include commission fees, they often are the biggest expense of mobile apps! Download our mobile app financial model template and build rock-solid and accurate projections for your business. We already included all the commission fees calculations so you only have to fill in some assumptions, and the model template calculates everything automatically!

We also have great free resources for mobile app founders:

Need a Mobile app financial model?

✓ Fully editable
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✓ Tutorial + how-to video
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