Kakao says emoji subscription purchases drop by a third due to Google’s new in-app policy – ​​TechCrunch

South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk’s emoji subscription purchases fell by a third over the year, parent company Kakao said on Thursday’s quarterly earnings call, blaming Google’s new in-app payments policy that forced The app uses the Android manufacturer’s own billing system.

KakaoTalk emoji plus The subscription service costs about $3.8 per month and allows users to access unlimited emoji. TechCrunch reported in June that due to recent changes in the Google Play marketplace, South Korean app developers and content providers will see their paid subscription and service fees rise by 15-30%.

Kakao CEO Whon Namkoong said the negative impact of Google’s new billing policy was “inevitable,” adding that Kakao talk emoji purchases fell after Google introduced the new payment policy in June. .

“From a user perspective, thanks to Google’s new in-app payment policy, [digital goods] The price barrier has risen,” Namkoong said. “So if you look at [KakoTalk’s] emoji plus [subscription] service, the number of new users has dropped to a third of what we’ve seen over the year. “

kakao Namkoong said there are plans to develop countermeasures to deal with this change. “We plan to use Google’s in-app payments for promotions for users and our subscribers to ensure we minimize the impact of in-app payments in the second half of the year,” he said.

The US tech giant made changes to its in-app payment system in June to charge transaction fees from non-gaming apps and other types of digital goods including OTT, music streaming, online cartoons, digital book apps, and more Wait. Before the change, non-gaming apps were allowed to direct consumers to external payment sources via in-app links.

Google said earlier this year blog The post stated 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 external payment links will be removed from the Google Play Store starting in June , to comply with Google’s new payments system.

Kakao operates two businesses: platform business (Kakao Talk, Kakao Mobility, Kakao Pay) and content business (Kakao Games, Kakao Webtoons and Melon Music Streaming). The South Korean internet company reported its second-quarter revenue of $1.3 billion (1.82 trillion won), up 34.8 percent year-on-year, and a net profit of $77.3 million (101.2 billion won) for the quarter, down 68 percent from a year ago.

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