If you make money on the Play Store, you should probably check your email. Google is sending out a notification to developers to let them know that in the future, payments will be sent out on a 15 day delay instead of the one or two days the company has been using for a while. What does this mean for you? Well, if selling apps is a primary source of income for you, then you'll want to do some planning. Before you panic, though, Google is implementing an intermediary schedule to make the transition a little easier.
Here's how it works. Normally, when a month ends, Google takes a couple days and sends out all the money you've earned at once. So, for example, on February 2nd, devs received payments for all January sales. That's a two-day delay, for the mathematically impaired. That window will be extended to fifteen days under the new system. Here's the schedule for when payments will go out in the interim:
- February 2nd: Payment for January sales
- February 15th: Payment for February 1 - 13 sales
- March 15th: Payment for February 14 - 28 sales
- April 15th: Payment for March sales
So, a couple things: for one, there's not going to be some huge six week delay between payments. In fact, quite the opposite. While developers should have received a full monthly check for January already, a second round of cash will go out on February 15th. This is money that normally wouldn't have been paid until March, so set that aside if you rely on the Play Store to pay rent. This is your buffer.
The second half of February's payments will go out on March 15th which will be the first check to adhere to the 15 day delay. This might make things a little tough, but with proper planning, it should only be a short, mildly uncomfortable transition. Developers will still be paid every month. It will just be on a different day.
So, why the change? There are a number of theories being bandied about. That Google is introducing new payment methods that take a while to process. Or it's trying to combat scammers. Perhaps it wants to hang on to your cash and make a bunch of money off the interest.
The simplest answer, though, is that Google wants to ensure that payments go out on a predictable schedule. I know it sounds a little crazy. After all, it's the reason the company stated in the email, so it can't be true. However, it's not unheard of for developer payments to go out later than expected. If Google wants to be a grown-up content hub, it needs to be able to provide its users with stability and reliability.
I'm sure potential Nexus 4 customers would agree.