Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Speaks Out on Dispute With Apple Over App Store Policies

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 14, 2019 at 8:15 AM.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Spotify CEO Daniel Ek elaborated on his company's complaint against Apple with the European Commission in a speech today at the International Conference on Competition in Berlin, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

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    Spotify has accused Apple of unfairly applying its 30 percent App Store commission. While a 70-30 revenue split applies to most apps, including Spotify, others like Uber and Deliveroo are exempt since Apple's commission does not apply to "goods or services that will be consumed outside of the app."

    Ek doubled down on this issue, referring to Apple's commission as a "competitor tax":
    Spotify Premium normally costs $9.99 per month, the same price as Apple Music, but if Spotify were to offer that price on the App Store, it would only receive $6.99 of that amount after Apple's cut.

    Spotify did experiment with offering Premium for $12.99 per month through its iOS app starting in 2014, netting it $9.09 per subscriber after Apple's cut, but this put it at a competitive disadvantage since Apple Music is $9.99 per month. Spotify has since stopped allowing upgrading to Premium through its iOS app.
    The issue doesn't end there, as Apple's App Store review guidelines prevent Spotify from letting users know that they can subscribe to Premium for $9.99 per month on the web or other platforms. The guidelines also prevent Spotify from advertising discounts and other promotions in its iOS app.
    Ek concluded with a ping-pong metaphor:
    On a new website titled Time to Play Fair, Spotify also says it is not allowed to be on the HomePod or Siri, along with other accusations.

    Spotify is aiming for all apps to be subject to the same fair set of rules, including Apple Music. Spotify also believes consumers should not be "forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's" and that Apple should not be able to place "unfair restrictions" on marketing and promotions.

    Article Link: Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Speaks Out on Dispute With Apple Over App Store Policies
     
  2. calzon65 macrumors 6502a

    calzon65

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    Hate to admit it but Apple IOS, Apple Store, Apple Rules.

    When people use words like "we just want to be fair …" sounds like soar losers.
     
  3. az431 macrumors 6502a

    az431

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    As soon as you start a free trial on the iOS app, Spotify sends an email stating that you can subscribe for $9.99 on their website. Spotify can do whatever it wants outside of the App Store and the app itself.
     
  4. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

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  5. AppleFan1179 macrumors member

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    This is incredibly similar to what got Microsoft in trouble with IE back in the day. When you are the OS and by extension the platform, you are put in a special position where you have to play fair, even with your competitors. Apple is not playing fair, and Spotify is exactly right to complain about it. Compete on the service, don't compete on business leverage.
     
  6. BrettArchibald macrumors member

    BrettArchibald

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    What I'm hearing from Spotify is: "Apple did a lot of work creating this fantastic distribution platform and Apple did a lot of work creating a fantastic integration between their Store and their devices and Apple amassed a huge database of satisfied returning customers, but now WE want to benefit from all that for nothing."
     
  7. Stevez67 macrumors member

    Stevez67

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    So then the Spotify argument is that unless Apple provides the App Store for free everyone except Apple is at a competitive disadvantage. Explain where else in the world a store, online or brick & mortar, lets someone else sell a product in their store without taking a cut (normally called a mark-up). Gotta call BS on Spotify's argument.
     
  8. DNichter macrumors G3

    DNichter

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    Pretty silly. Spotify wants to use Apple's platform and customer base, which they have worked hard to develop and cultivate for years, to make money. Yet, they don't want to pay Apple a cut for providing this platform and customer base? If you don't want to pay it, you don't have to, but don't expect to use their platform for free.
     
  9. matc macrumors member

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    I'm completely with Spotify on this one. Apple should compete by just building better products - and they used to do exactly that. Let the customer decide.
     
  10. Ishayu macrumors regular

    Ishayu

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    I agree that Apple aren't being fair in this field. Whether or not they can be sued for it is a whole another matter, but we've now reached a point where dozens of high profile companies are trying to dodge around Apple's revenue sharing systems, from HBO to Spotify etc. etc. Even Disney and Pixar are mad, and the latter of those companies was founded by, among others, Steve Jobs

    There is no way that Apple receiving a 30% cut is fair in a scenario such as this. Apple is not offering any services other than billing the customer, for which 30% is massively, massively too high. They don't host the music, they don't pay for the bandwidth, they don't offer the catalogue, they don't protect customer nor provider from anything whatsoever. The only thing they've provided is the platform iOS. If Microsoft can have an anti-trust case just by pre-installing Internet Explorer, surely this more than qualifies as an anti-trust case.
     
  11. TobyR macrumors newbie

    TobyR

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    Girl Scout Cookies?
     
  12. AppleFan1179 macrumors member

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    How about "all of computing since forever?" You used to be able to easily build an application for a Mac or PC and distribute it on your own, and pay absolutely nothing to Apple or Microsoft. Now, with the creation of these walled gardens and app platforms, Microsoft and Apple (and others) are finding ways to extract money from consumers and developers for basically just inserting themselves as middle men.
     
  13. Stevez67 macrumors member

    Stevez67

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    So, your Chevy dealer installs 3rd party sound systems in your car without charging a markup?
    So, Spotify is a non-profit?
     
  14. DNichter macrumors G3

    DNichter

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    They are providing a platform and the most lucrative base of customers that exists. You feel like Apple should just give that away for free?
     
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    Apple owns half a duopoly on app stores. It is literally illegal for them to use their market power in the app store market to unfairly advantage a totally different market, music streaming subscription services. This isn't about app store rules, this is about Apple using their app store to unfairly advantage Apple Music over all other competitors in the music streaming subscription market.
     
  16. AppleFan1179 macrumors member

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    This is not remotely the same thing, and comparing a car to a computing platform is woefully inadequate
     
  17. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    eBay, Etsy and Amazon take a cut of everything I sell on their platforms. Sure, I could sell my item without them, but I'd have to find the customers and handle the transactions myself...
     
  18. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    If all that is true, then Apple should be able to do it all over again with Apple Music without having to unfairly disadvantage their competitors in the app store.
     
  19. Saipher macrumors demi-god

    Saipher

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    Oh come on... Really?! lol :rolleyes:
     
  20. macfacts macrumors 68030

    macfacts

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    Read the story again. Spotify just wants to be able to tell their customers it is cheaper 2 sign up via the web page. Spotify doesn't want anything free.
     
  21. Stevez67 macrumors member

    Stevez67

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    #21
    This is typical retail, nothing more. Just because it's software doesn't make it a special case.
     
  22. AppleFan1179 macrumors member

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    It DOES make it a special case though. Ask Microsoft.
     
  23. thasan macrumors 65816

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    It's like inviting you to a match on our ping-pong table and then forcing you to play blindfolded while we change the rules throughout the game. -->
    dont come to play ping pong then. end of story.
     
  24. Stevez67 macrumors member

    Stevez67

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    So they want to advertise in the App Store how to avoid buying things in the App Store. Yea that's a great argument.
     
  25. tothemoonsands macrumors newbie

    tothemoonsands

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    What music streaming competitor did Apple buy? (Mentioned in the article). All I can find is Shazam recently, which certainly isn’t a competitor to Spotify.
     

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