Google brings its global rewards program to India

Google has launched its global rewards program Google Play Points in India. It would allow users in the country to earn points and rewards when making purchases through Google’s app marketplace, including in-app items, apps, games and subscriptions.

The program, which is currently available in 28 countries, will be launched in India in the coming week with four tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – offering users perks and prizes based on each user’s tier.

Google works with developers of popular apps and games to help users redeem their points for special in-app items.

“Google Play Points will also offer local developers a new opportunity to build a local and global user base; helping them engage their users, drive discoveries, and engage users in markets with Google Play Points,” said Santos Cohen, Director, Go-To-Market, Google Play Points, in a blog post. “We look forward to expanding the program to more global and local developers in the future.”

Google’s announcement comes a month after its developer-friendly move to allow non-gaming app developers in India and four other regions to offer users additional billing choices alongside their own Google Play billing system.

The Apps Market

Both Google and its rival Apple control their app marketplaces. Globally, the tech titans have slipped under the regulatory radar for charging a 15% to 30% service fee for in-app purchases. In India, Alphabet’s Google was under scrutiny by the Competition Commission of India over its app store payment structure.

India is one of the world’s leading downloaders of apps and games, and Google Play is a major distribution channel for mobile apps on smart devices running Android OS, with most Android app downloads occurring through Google’s App Store.

In 2021, Android held a 95.8% share of the mobile operating system market in India, according to database company Statista. The number of downloads in the Indian app market is expected to reach 31.5 billion downloads in 2022.

Total revenue in the Indian app market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% over the period 2022-2026, leading to a projected market size of US$2.3 billion by 2026 versus US$1.6 billion in 2022 becomes.

“India will play a critical role in the evolution of the global app ecosystem over the coming decade, from leading app adoption to becoming a major global developer hub,” wrote Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships, recently in a blog post.