Apple Rejected Spotify's App Update Adding Audiobook Support

Apple and Spotify are once again feuding as Spotify attempts to break into the audiobook market, reports The New York Times. Apple has reportedly rejected Spotify's latest app update three times in the last month.

Apple vs Spotify feature2
Over the years, Apple and Spotify have had a long running dispute over Apple's App Store policies, with multiple public conflicts over app and subscription fees and app rejections due to Spotify's attempts to skirt the up to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from purchases.

Apple says that Spotify is again trying to get around its ‌App Store‌ rules, and the Cupertino company claims that Spotify's audiobooks update is not in line with guidelines that cover how apps can communicate with users about purchasing options outside of the ‌App Store‌.

Apple last year agreed to an App Store rule change that allows developers to use communications like email to share information methods about payment options that are available outside of an iOS app, but Spotify is running into issues attempting to implement this feature. With the rule change, Spotify wanted to direct customers to buy books online to listen to in the app, rather than giving Apple a cut of its audiobook sales.

Apple apparently told Spotify that it can send customers emails about online purchases, but Spotify is not able to offer a button inside of the app to request emails. The feature was designed with Spotify's legal team involved, and Apple initially approved the update in September, but later reversed course, rejecting subsequent updates.

Spotify designed a nine-step process for purchasing an audiobook, which involved a customer tapping on an audiobook and seeing a screen with a lock over the play button. Pressing on the play button provided customers with a page where they could request information on how to buy a book through an email, and the email offered up a link to purchase the book.

An Apple spokesperson told MacRumors that Apple "has no issues" with reader apps like Spotify adding audiobook content, but Spotify did not follow Apple's guidelines around in-app communications directing users outside the app.

The App Store was designed to be a great business opportunity for developers, and we fully support initiatives to introduce new features in apps that provide lasting value for users. We have no issue with reader apps adding audiobook content to their apps, linking users out to websites to sign up for services, or communicating with customers externally about alternative purchase options. The Spotify app was rejected for not following the guidelines regarding including explicit in-app communications to direct users outside the app to make digital purchases. We provided them with clear guidance on how to resolve the issue, and approved their app after they made changes that brought it into compliance.

After the multiple rejections from Apple, Spotify released a version of the app that removes information about how to purchase an audiobook from the Spotify website, which Apple did approve. Spotify now informs users that there is no option to buy an audiobook in the app. "We know it's not ideal," says Spotify in the app text.

spotify audiobooks app
Spotify in 2019 filed a regulatory complaint with the European Union over Apple's ‌App Store‌ practices, and it maintains an anti-Apple "Time to Play Fair" website. Spotify has continued to meet with European regulators, but the case has not concluded as of yet. Spotify has also sided with Epic Games in the Epic Games v. Apple legal battle, and it participates in the "Coalition for App Fairness" alongside ‌Epic Games‌, Tile, and others who are unhappy with Apple's "anti-competitive" policies.

Tag: Spotify

Top Rated Comments

sorgo Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple, sweetie, you trying to give those antitrust legislators more ammo? ?
Score: 91 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ralph_sws Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple seems to be playing not entirely fair with spotify
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
6 weeks ago
Shame how much Apple have weaponised the App Store. They have just invited regulatory scrutiny.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TinaBelcher Avatar
6 weeks ago
these are the moments I’m so ashamed and embarrassed to be an Apple product user. Apple is so vindictive and will do whatever it takes to make sure no other company have any sort of success. It’s like that one “good friend” we’ve all had, that secretly did not want us to succeed in life, and tried to sabotage any opportunities
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wackery Avatar
6 weeks ago
I normally take apple’s side on these kinds of things, but not in this case
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDarth_Betar Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple, share with the other kids…
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated

Facebook and Spotify CEOs Slam Apple's App Store

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:20 pm PST by
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today spoke out against Apple's App Store policies, joining Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who earlier this week said that Apple was making moderation demands and had threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store. At The New York Times DealBook Summit, Zuckerberg said that only Apple attempts to limit the apps that are in the App Store, and...
spotify hifi still waiting

Spotify Still Can't Say When Its Delayed 'HiFi' Streaming Service Will Launch

Monday January 10, 2022 2:08 am PST by
Spotify users waiting to learn when the service's delayed "HiFi" premium audio service will materialize currently remain none the wiser, after the company responded noncommittally to requests for more information on its user community forums. Back in February, Spotify announced plans to introduce a "HiFi" premium tier by the end of 2021. According to Spotify, the feature will offer...
Spotify Apple Watch App 2022 Redesign

Spotify Launching Redesigned Apple Watch App With Several Improvements

Wednesday November 9, 2022 9:11 am PST by
Spotify today announced it is rolling out a redesigned Apple Watch app with a "new and improved listening experience" that allows users to more easily browse music and podcasts in "Your Library" and more quickly download music for offline playback. In a blog post, Spotify said the new design includes larger artwork, new animations, the ability to swipe to like a song, a blue dot next to new...
spotify play shuffle

Spotify to Separate Play and Shuffle Buttons for Premium Subscribers

Tuesday August 2, 2022 2:33 am PDT by
Spotify is separating its play and shuffle buttons for paying subscribers, the streaming service has announced. Currently, the Spotify interface uses a combined play and shuffle button at the top of playlists and artist pages, so the change should make things simpler for Premium customers who prefer to listen to songs in the order they are listed. Writing in a blog post, the company said ...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Premium Extends Free Trial Period to Three Months

Tuesday August 16, 2022 2:55 am PDT by
Spotify is extending its free trial period for Spotify Premium to three months, up from the previous one month that new users usually have to try out the paid service. In a blog post announcing the offer, Spotify said the free three-month trial of its Individual Premium plan is available to eligible Free and first-time users. In addition, Spotify said those who canceled their Premium...
spotify offline playback apple watch

watchOS 9 Breaks Spotify Streaming, Apple Watch Users Urged Not to Update

Friday September 16, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
Apple Watch owners who stream music from Spotify have been urged not to update their devices to watchOS 9 because of a bug that causes streaming on the watch to stop working. Spotify has been sending its users emails warning of the problem, which began to emerge soon after Apple released watchOS 9 to the public on Monday. The message from the company reads: Apple WatchOS 9 introduced a bug...
european parliament

Apple Faces Further Charges in EU Antitrust Case Triggered by Spotify

Monday April 11, 2022 4:38 am PDT by
Apple will face additional antitrust charges in the European Union related to a music streaming probe triggered by a complaint from Spotify, Reuters reports. The charges are part of an ongoing investigation by the European Commission into accusations of anti-competitive conduct in the music streaming market from Spotify and suggest that the EU is strengthening its case against Apple amid...
spotify google play

Google Play Store Now Letting Spotify Use Alternative Billing for In-App Purchases

Thursday November 10, 2022 12:54 pm PST by
Google today announced that popular streaming music service Spotify will be able to bill Android users directly in the Google Play version of Spotify without needing to go through the Google Play billing system. Spotify is Google's first partner for "User Choice Billing," a feature that allows Android users to make purchases using the payment option they prefer. User Choice Billing is...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
nothing phone 2

Nothing Plans to Launch Smartphone in US to Take on Apple's iPhone

Monday December 5, 2022 12:38 am PST by
UK-based tech company Nothing plans to launch a smartphone in the US to directly compete with Apple's iPhone, according to a new report out today. In an interview with CNBC, Nothing CEO Carl Pei said the startup is in "early conversations" with American cellular carriers about launching a new phone in the US, but he stopped short of naming any of the carriers or the phone model. Nothing...
apple ar headset concept 1

Kuo: Apple Headset Shipments Potentially Delayed Until Second Half of 2023

Sunday December 4, 2022 7:38 am PST by
Mass shipments of Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset may be delayed until the second half of 2023 due to unspecified "software-related issues," according to the latest information shared today by tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple headset render by Ian Zelbo Kuo said mass shipments of components for the headset are still likely to begin in the first half of 2023, but he believes that mass...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Launch?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...