Kakao Says Emoji Subscription Purchases Have Dropped By A Third Due To Google’s New In-app Policy – TechCrunch

The number of emoji subscription purchases on South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk fell by a third over the year, parent company Kakao said on a quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday. blaming Google’s new in-app payment policy, which forces apps to use the Android maker’s own billing system.

KakaoTalk’s Emoticon Plus subscription service, which costs around $3.8 per month, gives users access to unlimited emojis. TechCrunch reported in June that South Korean app developers and content providers may see their paid subscription and service fees increase due to a recent change in Google’s Play Marketplace that results in commission fees. from 15 to 30%.

Kakao chief executive Whon Namkoong said the negative impact of Google’s new billing policy was “inevitable”, adding that the number of KakaoTalk emoji purchases dropped after Google introduced its new policy. payment in June of this year.

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“From a user perspective, due to Google’s new in-app payment policy, the [digital goods] the price hurdle has increased,” Namkoong said. “As a result, if you look [KakoTalk’s] Emoticon More [subscription] the number of new users fell to a third of what we had seen during the year.

Kakao plans to work on countermeasures to respond to the change, Namkoong said. “We plan to run a promotion for users, using Google’s in-app payment, and also for our subscribers to ensure we minimize the impact of in-app payment in the second half of the year,” did he declare.

The US tech giant imposed changes to its in-app payment system in June to charge for transactions spilling over non-gaming apps and other types of digital goods, including OTT (over-the-top) , music streaming, web cartoons, e-book apps and more. Non-gaming apps, prior to the change, were allowed to direct consumers to external payment sources via in-app links.

Google said earlier this year in a blog post that “all developers selling digital goods and services in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system,” and clarified that apps using links from External payments will be removed from Google Play Store from June to comply with Google’s new payment system.

Kakao manages two activities: the platform activity (Kakao Talk, Kakao Mobility, Kakao Pay) and the content activity (Kakao games, Kakao Webtoons and Melon music streaming). The South Korean internet company posted revenue of $1.3 billion (1.82 trillion WON) in the second quarter, up 34.8% from the same period a year earlier , and net profit of $77.3 million (WON101.2 billion) for the quarter, down 68% from a year earlier.

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