Epic Files Motion to Stop Google From Pulling Bandcamp From Play Store

Epic Games, known for the popular digital game Fortnight, filed a motion to prevent Google from pulling independent music storefront Bandcamp from the Android App Store, according to a blog post on Friday (April 29).

Epic acquired Bandcamp last month for undisclosed terms. Google is reportedly threatening to remove the creator marketplace from its app store because Bandcamp uses its own billing system and sidesteps Google’s fee.

Bandcamp was able to use its own billing system on Android since 2015 under a Google exemption for digital music. Bandcamp CEO and Co-founder Ethan Diamond said in the blog post that Google has changed the rules for its app and others like it to “exclusively use Google Play Billing for payments for digital goods and services, and pay a revenue share to Google.”

Google’s updated rules would force Bandcamp to change its business model no later than June 1. It is now in the position of running the Android side of its business at a loss, killing that side, upping fees to consumers or charging musicians more.

“Furthermore, the policy changes would impact our ability to pay artists quickly – instead of receiving payment after 24 to 48 hours, artists may not be paid until 15 to 45 days after a sale,” per the post.

Bandcamp currently gives artists “around 82% of the revenue earned from their sales,” according to the motion, which also acknowledges that “Google has offered Bandcamp a revenue share of 10% (in exchange for other concessions).”

Epic maintains that this would still force it to change Bandcamp’s business model or to “operate at a long-term loss,” the motion indicated. Epic further said that such a move would violate Bandcamp’s core principles.

In the motion, Epic also notes it will “require significant time and effort” to develop infrastructure to integrate Google’s billing system for Bandcamp. Currently, Bandcamp’s in-app solution is “fully integrated with PayPal.”