It comes as no great surprise that Draft2Digital is ending its distribution partnership with Google Play Books.
In February of this year Draft2Digital joined PublishDrive and StreetLib in offering Google Play as a distribution option (Smashwords has never had an agreement with Google Play), but barely had authors had time to take advantage than Google Play made some major changes to its rules of engagement, and Draft2Digital decide it would not or could not meet the new requirements.
Both PublishDrive and StreetLib had to invest time and resources in adapting to the new Google Play regulations, and both continue to offer Google Play distribution.
But for Draft2Digital the contract with Google Play has only a few more days to run.
And Google Play is not alone. For reasons that are not so clear, Draft2Digital is terminating its Playster distribution on the same day.
There have, in some less than totally reliable publishing circles, been suggestions this year that Playster is in financial difficulty, but this is a source that is right barely fifty percent of the time, so I merely note the concern as being out there.
See Draft2Digital’s explanation below as to why it is parting ways with Playster. As of November 1 PublishDrive will be the only aggregator serving Playster.
This from the Draft2Digital email notification:
…We have determined that distribution to Google Play and Playster are not in the best interest of our authors, and we will be removing distribution to these channels.
Google Play’s current terms of service create a relationship with distributors like D2D that is neither manageable nor scalable, forcing authors and aggregators both to take extreme measures to be listed. Pricing changes, requirements for account management, and other restrictions imposed on our authors make Google Play an unattractive option.
Effective October 30th, Draft2Digital will no longer offer Google Play distribution, we will be closing our Google Play Distribution Beta program, and all titles will be taken down at that time.
We have been closely monitoring distribution via Playster for several months and have determined that the platform lacks the level of stability we require for our distribution partners. As a result, we will be removing Playster as a distribution channel for new books and ensuring that all books currently listed are removed as soon as Playster is officially closed. This is in the best interest of our publishing partners.
Once the contract terminations take effect it will leave Draft2Digital with the following outlets:
Barnes & Noble
Baker & Taylor
As professional indies we need to keep constantly appraised of the latest changes in our aggregator channels and policies, and note concerns when raised.
Draft2Digital’s concerns about Google Play are specific to Draft2Digital. Google Play changed the rules and Draft2Digital decided it would not play by the new rules.
With Playster the matter is less clear cut. Draft2Digital talks of deficient stability levels, but we have no idea if this is something related specifically to the Draft2Digital system requirements, as per Google Play, or something broader that might also give PublishDrive cause for concern.