Apple Says Spotify Seeks to Keep All Benefits of App Store Without Making Any Contributions to Marketplace

Apple today responded to Spotify's recent complaint with the European Commission over its App Store practices in a press release, referring to it as "misleading rhetoric." Apple adds that Spotify "seeks to keep all of the benefits of the App Store ecosystem" but "without making any contributions to the marketplace."

spotify complaint apple eu
The intro of Apple's press release:

We believe that technology achieves its true potential when we infuse it with human creativity and ingenuity. From our earliest days, we've built our devices, software and services to help artists, musicians, creators and visionaries do what they do best.

Sixteen years ago, we launched the iTunes Store with the idea that there should be a trusted place where users discover and purchase great music and every creator is treated fairly. The result revolutionized the music industry, and our love of music and the people who make it are deeply engrained in Apple.

Eleven years ago, the ‌App Store‌ brought that same passion for creativity to mobile apps. In the decade since, the ‌App Store‌ has helped create many millions of jobs, generated more than $120 billion for developers and created new industries through businesses started and grown entirely in the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem.

At its core, the ‌App Store‌ is a safe, secure platform where users can have faith in the apps they discover and the transactions they make. And developers, from first-time engineers to larger companies, can rest assured that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.

That's how it should be. We want more app businesses to thrive — including the ones that compete with some aspect of our business, because they drive us to be better.

What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the ‌App Store‌ for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the ‌App Store‌'s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we've built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.

Apple goes on to rebut each of Spotify's accusations listed on its Time to Play Fair website on a point-by-point basis.

Apple says the only time it has rejected Spotify app updates is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the ‌App Store‌ rules. Apple also says it has reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions and approved the Spotify app on Apple Watch with the same process and speed as any other app.

Apple adds that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free," noting that the "majority of customers use their free, ad-supported product, which makes no contribution to the ‌App Store‌."

Spotify wouldn't be the business they are today without the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem, but now they're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that's wrong.

Apple says the only requirement for developers is that any digital goods and services be purchased inside the app using Apple's in-app purchase system. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of revenue for the first year of an annual subscription, but says Spotify left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after.

Apple concludes by saying it shares Spotify's goal of sharing music but has a different view of how to achieve that goal. Apple takes aim at Spotify "suing music creators" after a decision by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board requiring increased royalty payments, calling it "just wrong," although Spotify already disputed that allegation.

Tag: Spotify

Top Rated Comments

omihek Avatar
26 months ago
Apple is right.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cosmosent Avatar
26 months ago
I am NOT defending Spotify, but the iOS App Store is in-deed Catastrophically Broken !

AAPL Controls the Narrative, & does so to the tune of 100% !

AAPL makes their App Recommendations based-upon "Politics," NOT which apps are best for their Users.

The list goes on & on ...

"App Discovery" of good apps is NON-existent !

How much search filtering does AAPL offer ??? that one is easy to answer, except for keywords, Zero !

AAPL hit $1T USD in market cap last year ... yet, exactly how many (major) App Success Stories have occurred for apps that started life since Cook took over ... I know of NONE !
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleTrap Avatar
26 months ago
Apple charges 99$ a year to host an app on its platform. What is this charge for? To cover hosting fees?

Then Apple charges 30% of every sale Spotify makes. What is this for? I can't imagine hosting charges to be that high. And Apple makes no contribution to the development of Spotify and its products.

Sure it is Apple's platform and they can do whatever they want with it. But are they being fair?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjp1 Avatar
26 months ago
30% is extremely high for hosting a tiny amount of static content in the app store and providing a download. The big thing is this is the only way to get apps. Is that worth 30%?

As consumers, we bought and own the devices. Therefore, we should be able to use them however we want. If that means installing from a 3rd party app store or directly from a developer's website, then so be it. Let us check a box saying we understand that doing so may result in a degraded experience and/or require wiping the device to get technical support, but don't flat out prevent us from doing so.

For businesses, they should be given the chance to compete. The cost to store the data for an app store is small. The cost for providing downloads is small. If someone wants to do an app store and only take 10% or whatever, then they should be given the chance. If Apple is so confident in the value they are providing developers, then it won't matter that there is competition.

The reality is they are abusing their power with the 30%. They could raise it to 90% tomorrow and developers would just have to deal with it. This is the only way to distribute their apps, so they will take some money over no money. I welcome the breakup of stuff like this.

The phone/tablet/whatever is just a computer. Nobody would tolerate this nonsense if Windows didn't allow you to download a program outside of their store. Just because "phone" - doesn't make it right.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tann Avatar
26 months ago
Ridiculous that they have arbitrary rules like digital items require purchasing through IAP... why? Because then Apple get a cut for nothing.

If you look into this case it's rife with anti-competitive behaviour. Especially true now giving Apple has their own direct competitor that does indeed have unfair advantages.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
developer13245 Avatar
26 months ago
The only solution is to open up the iOS platform so developers can sell directly to end users, or through other 3rd party app stores. This works on the Mac platform, so there is no technical reason iOS cannot also work this way.


Also see:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-hosts-private-app-store-meeting-with-select-developers.2132523/
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max front feature2

Kuo: Some 2022 iPhones to Abandon Notch in Favor of 'Punch-Hole' Display

Monday March 1, 2021 8:05 am PST by
At least some 2022 iPhone models will abandon the notch and switch to a "punch-hole display design" instead, similar to Samsung's recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo said the hole-punch display design will be adopted by high-end 2022 iPhones at a minimum, and if production yields are good enough, all 2022 iPhone...