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Google’s updated service terms take effect

The logo of Google (Reuters-Yonhap)
The logo of Google (Reuters-Yonhap)

Google has brought a wide range of changes to its service terms starting from Tuesday, which industry sources say would help give a significant boost to its company revenue.

Google now allows YouTube to place ads on videos made by all creators -- be they big or small. Previously small content creators who don’t qualify for the company’s partner program couldn’t put ads on their videos.

The latest policy change would boost the YouTube Premium membership, which gives ad-free access to content across the service for a monthly fee, industry sources said.

Also from Tuesday, the Google Photos service, which had allowed users unlimited free storage, has capped free storage at 15 GB. New photos and videos that existing users upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google account, and those who need more storage would need to purchase them.

For the month of June, Google offers a 15 percent discount on the commission it charges on purchases made on Google Play, applicable to app developers whose annual sales generated from the company’s app market service are less than $1 million and who support Google’s own payment system. The latest discount applies to all nongame purchases, including in-app transactions.

The move is seen as a preliminary step before the company demands taking a 30 percent cut on purchases made on Google Play and mandating the use of its own payment system.

Google’s new in-app purchase policy, which is slated to take effect in October, has sparked criticism from local app developers who would have to forgo a chunk of their earnings, given the market clout foreign platform operators have in Korea.

When the commission is hiked, Google’s revenue from the in-app purchases on its app market service is expected to increase by 156.8 billion won, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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