Spotify Says App Store Changes Don't 'Get to the Core of the Problem'

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After Apple announced a handful of new changes heading to the App Store under Phil Schiller's reign -- including a new revenue split for subscriptions and ads in search results -- Spotify recently commented its opinion on the announcements. Speaking with The Verge, Jonathan Prince, Spotify's head of corporate communications and global policy, said simply, "It's a nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem."

One of Spotify's major hangups centers around the fact that the new rules still prohibit apps from offering "special offers or discounts," because price flexibility is prohibited. The Cupertino company's policy makes sure that it's a constant presence between the customer and developer, "which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn."

spotify app

"Unless Apple changes its rules, price flexibility is prohibited, which is why we can never provide special offers or discounts, and means we won't have the ability to share any savings with our customers," Prince continued. "Apple still insists on inserting itself between developers and their customers, which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn — or who even qualifies as a long-term subscriber."

Prince also said that the rules make it hard to even determine which customers could be considered as a long-term subscriber - an important factor to take into account now that Apple will take only a 15 percent cut if a user stays subscribed to a service for more than a year. Apple currently takes 30 percent of a subscription fee when users sign up to a service on the App Store.

Spotify's concerns follow an uptick in subscriber activity in the year since Apple's rival subscription music service, Apple Music, launched to the public. While the latter platform is on track to gain 15 million subscribers for its one-year anniversary in late June, Spotify has grown from 20 million paid users last June, to 30 million in May of 2016. The company noted that since Apple Music launched it has "been growing quicker and adding more users than before."

Top Rated Comments

Paradoxally Avatar
60 months ago
Start paying your artists and then complain about Apple's policies.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
60 months ago
The core of the problem is that Spotify ultimately doesn't control its own platform. The biggest music streaming service in the world is ultimately just another app on my smartphone, and still had to play by another company's rules. I fail to see how this is Apple's fault, or what obligation Apple has to "play fair".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
60 months ago
I am sorry Spotify, but I like that Apple is a "constant presence between the customer and developer." Otherwise this would be just like google where my profile and usage data is sold to vendors that will use it in ways I do not like. Privacy of my data is one reason I stick with Apple over other vendors. Work with Apple to figure out how to do things and maybe they will work with you. But the position of "give me all the data so I can figure out who is who and what the do" is not going to fly with Apple. And I am glad about that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SandboxGeneral Avatar
60 months ago

I'm surprised that Apple music has had a positjve effect on Spotify, I was sureit was going to slow it down that's surprising from Spotify.

It appears to be a win win for Apple as they are getting a proportion of the the subsxription fee which seems strange to me, i'm assuming this is for people who sign up via App store.

I don't know the reasons why the majority of Spotify Premium users either stayed with or moved to Spotify over Apple Music, but for me it was primarily the user interface for why I stayed with Spotify. I didn't care for the mostly white appearance and the dancing bubbles for indicating which type of music I preferred. I also like Spotify's mood and genre selections a lot and much prefer the dark theme too.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SandboxGeneral Avatar
60 months ago
Nice to finally get some insight as to the hangup on Spotify coming to the Apple TV. That's a big gripe of mine and only part of a reason why I recently bought a Roku 4 and displaced my Apple TV 4.

This is not unlike the issue with Amazon Prime on TVOS; a policy issue at Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
60 months ago

Start paying your artists and then complain about Apple's policies.

Spotify practically operate at a loss - and let's not forget that Apple, one of the most profitable companies in the world, pay near-identical to Spotify's rates. So what does that say? I'm not sure what the cut-off point is of being unreasonable.

I am grateful for streaming services. Way back when, if I was to discover an album, I'd have to either buy it or pirate it. Not many people are willing to give away their hard-earned to blindly buy albums without having the opportunity to sample them - especially if you don't have much disposable income.

I was always of the mentality that if I listened to an album and really enjoyed it, I'd buy the album. It used to be that after a few spins from downloading it, I'd go out and buy it because I loved it that much. Now, I can legally listen to the album beforehand with some reassurance that the artist is at least getting some compensation for this - or at the very least, feedback of how many people are listening to it, and how often - and then I'll go out and buy the album if it's really special.

Streaming isn't perfect, but you haven't really given an alternative solution. A bit of a paradox, Paradoxally? ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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