Spotify Shares Its Vision for In-App Purchases Ahead of EU Regulation

Spotify has shared its vision for bringing in-app payments back to its iOS app, once Apple is forced to comply with Europe's looming digital market regulations.

General Spotify Feature
The streaming service shared mockups of what it expects its app to look like, including information about pricing, subscription offers and in-app audiobook purchases. Spotify has not allowed customers to sign up for a Spotify Premium subscription or make other in-app payments in order to avoid paying Apple's fees, but that is likely to change soon, in the EU at least.

The European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), which went into effect on November 1, 2022, requires "gatekeeper" companies to open up their services and platforms to other companies and developers. The DMA will have a big impact on Apple's platforms, and is likely to result in Apple making major changes to the ‌App Store‌, Messages, FaceTime, Siri, and possibly more.

For example, the law will prevent the ‌App Store‌ from charging a fee for apps to promote their own products and services, or force apps to use a specific payments mechanism. The act is due to roll out on March 7.

Writing in a newsroom blog post, Spotify laid out its ideal scenario ahead of the act:

For years, even in our own app, Apple had these rules where we couldn't tell you about offers, how much something costs, or even where or how to buy it. We know, pretty nuts. The DMA means that we'll finally be able to share details about deals, promotions, and better-value payment options in the EU. And an easier experience for you means good things for artists, authors, and creators looking to build their audiences of listeners, concert-goers, and audiobook-loving fans. What's more? All of this can now come without the burden of a mandatory ~30% tax imposed by Apple, which is prohibited under the DMA. 

We'll soon be able to give you information in the Spotify app about prices for things like Premium subscriptions and audiobooks. And we will be able to communicate clearly with you in the Spotify app about new products for sale, promotional campaigns, superfan clubs, and upcoming events, including when items like audiobooks are going on sale.

Soon we expect that if you want to buy a Premium subscription or an audiobook, or are looking to seamlessly upgrade from Individual to a Duo or Family plan to save money, you will be able to do so with just a couple of easy clicks.

MacRumors found code strings in a recent Spotify beta indicating that the company was testing bringing back in-app purchases. However, a lot of what Spotify envisions remains theoretical, given that Apple may have evasive strategies to comply more loosely with the requirements, like how it responded to the anti-steering rule handed down by a U.S. court in the Apple vs. Epic Games legal battle.

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 offers no alternative billing from the ‌‌App Store‌‌. There are two exceptions, however, including South Korea and the Netherlands. Regulators in these countries have forced Apple to allow some apps to use third-party payment providers.

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Top Rated Comments

PlayUltimate Avatar
21 weeks ago
Apple built the playground; Apple should decide what the rules are.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
21 weeks ago
So now free users will now have constant popups to give them money.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScreenSavers Avatar
21 weeks ago
I still feel that Apple should be able to choose how to run their App Store and IAP system. They developed the software. They built the hardware. And users chose to buy it. Companies like Spotify act like they own as much of the App Store service as Apple does, and then complain it's not "playing fair" when Apple charges a fee for use of the service they created. If you don't like it, don't develop for it. If consumers don't like it, don't purchase their devices. So much complaining from people who choose to invest in the service, fully knowing the rules.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DelayedGratificationGene Avatar
21 weeks ago
Hey Spotify spend all that extra money to get sideloading but you are not getting a free ride using the greatest platform ever invented. It costs money to keep this the greatest platform for you so you are still going to pay for that privilege. Again a perfect analogy….”I demand Walmart let me use their shelf space to sell my product! I don’t care what overhead expense Walmart has!”….this Spotify Epic nonsense has to stop and the Supreme Court did stop it. Enough already.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paulovsouza Avatar
21 weeks ago
Spotify better literally put their money where their mouth is, and pay their artists more. I really doubt the 30% “Apple tax”, is what was preventing them for paying their artists, especially since they don’t pay the 30% by not having any in app purchases.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stocklen Avatar
21 weeks ago
This is such a NON-PROBLEM.

Nothing stopping people signing up for Spotify via their website and im surprised that almost everyone didnt do it this way anyway.

Meanwhile Spotify gets a free run on using Apple's proprietary app store and benefiting for that without paying.

So.. before they couldnt direct people to the website to sign up? And...? There are thousands of apps that exist where you have to first be a customer of the service having paid via a web browser then use the app simply to log in.

Spotify just want as many windows of opportunity to charge people and if the App Store was one where they made subscription revenue then that seems fair of Apple to me.

Why does Spotify even need the capability of selling subscriptions via the app anyway?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)