At I/O 2021, Google made a big push for building apps across all the form factors Android is available on. The company is now massively encouraging adoption with the global launch of the Play Media Experience Program to get more apps on Wear OS, Android/Google TV, Auto, and tablets/foldables.
For these platforms to be successful, third-party applications are a crucial part of getting end users to adopt and upgrade. For example, Google TV launched last year on the new Chromecast with many apps supporting the platform’s latest features, like the homescreen experience and watchlist.
The success of that was in part due to the Play Media Experience Program, which has — up until today — just been in testing with early partners.
Google is now ready to expand the program to all media companies globally in three areas:
- Video – high quality video content for the living room; requires integrations with Android TV, Google TV, and Google Cast
- Audio – subscription music and audio services that work everywhere; requires integrations with Wear OS, Android Auto, Android TV, and Google Cast
- Books – compelling reading experience on larger screens; optimized experience on tablets, foldables, and integration with the new Entertainment Space.
Google (and end users) will get more media apps across Android/Google TV, as well as the Cast platform, Android Auto and Automotive, tablets/foldables, and Wear OS. The wearable platform is due for a big launch in the coming months, while large screen devices are seeing a surge in usage and interest from manufacturers.
In exchange for building apps on all those Google platforms, these media companies see Google’s cut on user purchases drop from 30% to 15%. This is independent of the upcoming change where Google is reducing its commission to 15% on the first $1 million in revenue for all — but primarily to the benefit of small/medium — Android developers. Apps in the Play Media Experience Program have to continue using the Play Store’s in-app billing system.
Developers also benefit from Play Store promotion and discovery, as well as re-engagement. Google also provides technical aid when necessary.
Android developers can express their interest for the Play Media Experience Program today, and Google will “follow up with more information if [they] are eligible.”
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