Bandcamp will not worry that Google will download its app from the Play Store in the near future. The music service has entered agreement this will allow it to use its existing payment system in the Android app while parent company Epic Games continues its antitrust lawsuit against Google. Artists will continue to receive the same share as before, but Bandcamp will invest 10 percent of its Android sales revenue in escrow until the case is resolved. The company said in a blog post that he will bear these costs instead of passing them on to the musicians.
The agreement takes effect on June 1, the same day that Google is set to impose a new rule requiring apps like Bandcamp to use only the Play Store’s billing system for in-app purchases. Google will still have the power to enforce Play Store policies beyond the exception provided by this transaction.
This move is a compromise for both sides. Epic has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that would prevent Google from downloading the Bandcamp app without the escrow requirement. It has long been argued that Google’s charging requirement would harm both artists and their own performance by reducing their revenue share and delaying payouts. Google, meanwhile, says Bandcamp and Epic are simply trying to avoid paying for the “value” of the Play Store, and that the 10 percent fee is less than what these companies charge through their own systems.
Regardless of the arguments, the pact may be good news for music creators. Although Bandcamp may change its payouts if Epic loses its case, this is unlikely to be inevitable. Artists can expect the status quo to continue for some time.
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