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Spotify appears to be bringing in-app payments back to its iOS app, based on code strings unearthed in the latest beta.

General-Spotify-Feature.jpg

MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris discovered the new code references to an in-app payment system, including an IAP checkout screen and purchase retry panels for failed purchases.

It's not clear what the IAP references relate to, but the fact that they are included is curious in itself. Spotify has not allowed customers to sign up for a Spotify Premium subscription through the ‌App Store‌ for the last seven years.

There is no mechanism for subscribing to Spotify through the Spotify app, as Spotify has restricted signups to its website in order to avoid paying Apple's fees. "You can't upgrade to Premium in the app," reads Spotify's "Premium" section in its iOS app. "We know, it's not ideal."

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.

In comments made in November 2022, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek accused Apple of giving developers "the illusion of control," and said that the ‌App Store‌ is a "threat to the future of the internet" that denies consumers choice.

Ek also clashed with Apple over Spotify's audiobooks feature. Apple in 2022 rejected Spotify's audiobook update several times and ultimately did not allow Spotify to direct users to purchase audiobooks through an in-app email signup button.

Things are different over on Android devices. Since November 2020, Spotify has been be able to bill Android users directly in the Google Play version of Spotify without needing to go through the Google Play billing system.

This is because Spotify uses Google's "User Choice Billing," a feature that allows Android users to make purchases using the payment option they prefer. User Choice Billing is essentially an alternative billing option for in-app purchases, and it comes with a reduced fee.

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.

With Google adopting options for alternative billing and continued regulatory pressure, it is possible that Apple will also fold and expand the Dutch and South Korea processes to other countries and app types. However, whether the IAP references in Spotify's code relate to such a plan is unknown. Another possibility is that Spotify is preparing to increase the price of its subscriptions to account for Apple's commission on in-app purchases.

Earlier this week, Spotify announced it will lay off about 1,500 employees, or 17% of its workforce, as the company seeks to downsize after a period of aggressive spending on podcasts and audiobooks. The latest round of cuts is the third in a year, with Spotify still facing annual financial losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Update: Spotify tells The Verge it has "no plans to switch IAP [in-app payments] on at the moment."

Article Link: Spotify on iOS to Bring Back In-App Purchases, Beta Code Suggests [Updated]
 
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sparkinstx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2017
569
872
They're between a rock and a hard place. They don't want to pay the fees (whether all of Apple's fees are fair is debatable), and they just laid off 1,000 employees. I use Apple Music, as does my oldest daughter, but the other two daughters are longtime Spotify subscribers. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.
 

applepotato666

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2016
322
604
It is a bit anticompetitive but that's business. Apple can make a service just as Spotify is free to make a phone if they wanted to. As much as it doesn't make sense because usually Apple enters new markets when it actually makes sense and they can provide a much better service throughout (Airtags and Tile, for example) but Apple Music absolutely sucks in comparison to Spotify.
 

iBluetooth

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2016
649
1,847
Funny how Apple will let you host your free app but let you pay for subscriptions outside the app store

Commenters would have you believe Apple will go bankrupt without their 30% cut
I don't understand. Apple only charges apps subscriptions through the App Store. As, do Google, PlayStation etc. as it's part of using the ecosystem.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
19,250
21,402
Singapore
I am really not sure what to make of Spotify at the moment.

They have a ton of subscribers, but the majority of them are on the free, ad-supported tier which doesn't really make all that much money. I also question the legitimacy of their subscriber count when you have the family and duo plans possibly inflating their numbers (a family plan counts as 6 paid users even if you aren't sharing it with that many other people).

Spotify has also spent more than $1 billion on podcasting, which doesn't seem to have paid off. The idea was simple - grab more listeners who spend more time on the platform and generate more ad revenue. But the problem is that podcasting isn't the easiest to monetise (eg: Joe Rogan), exclusives are costly, and their bet in going after celebrities and politicians fizzled when it turned out that not many people were interested in listening to the likes of Meghan Markle. Makes Apple look prescient for deciding to just leave podcasts alone and let podcasters do their own stuff.

In short, their move into podcasting clearly hasn't paid off, they appear to be fast running out of money, and they have maybe until 2026 before they start having to service the massive debt they took on during the pandemic.


So yeah, maybe Apple Music just might end up being the last man standing and Spotify finds itself being acquired by another platform like Microsoft.
 

TechnoMonk

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2022
1,467
1,885
It is a bit anticompetitive but that's business. Apple can make a service just as Spotify is free to make a phone if they wanted to. As much as it doesn't make sense because usually Apple enters new markets when it actually makes sense and they can provide a much better service throughout (Airtags and Tile, for example) but Apple Music absolutely sucks in comparison to Spotify.
For me Spotify was terrible. Dumped it after a month. Apple Music isn’t as intuitive but has much more than Spotify, for what I need. Most of the people I know who use Spotify are free tier.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2016
3,465
10,207
Oh yeah, Spotify.
Still no airplay 2 Support (promised in 2018)
Still no HomePod support (promised in 2020) and this one especially hurts because they wouldn’t stop complaining about Apple locking them out of the HomePod, and when Apple actually caves and allows third-party streaming services, Spotify is a no-show several years later.
No lossless audio support (promised in 2021)
No spatial audio/Dolby Atmos support (almost all of their competitors Have this now)

And yet they’ve still been increasing their prices.
 

Victor Mortimer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2016
638
1,162
For me Spotify was terrible. Dumped it after a month. Apple Music isn’t as intuitive but has much more than Spotify, for what I need. Most of the people I know who use Spotify are free tier.
So I'm not the only one who realizes the Apple Music UI is absolutely abysmal?

(I'd never have subscribed on my own, but I got a free 6 months with some used AirPods I bought. I have to decide if I'm gonna cancel in the next week or so, leaning toward canceling.)
 

The_Gream

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2020
181
420
So, I mentioned this before but feel I should say/ask it again.

I use the PlayStation App on my phone. I signed into my PlayStation account and I buy my digital games from PlayStation right in the App and never deal with Apple as Sony has my CC attached my PS account.

If Sony can do this, why don’t other companies do this. If Spotify wanted to let people buy Audiobooks and skip the IAP, they should/could just copy Sony’s process. He** any company could do this.

Before these CEOS and such complain over and over, maybe they should look at viable alternatives that work.
 

TheLunaPark

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2019
147
421
England
I am really not sure what to make of Spotify at the moment.

They have a ton of subscribers, but the majority of them are on the free, ad-supported tier which doesn't really make all that much money. I also question the legitimacy of their subscriber count when you have the family and duo plans possibly inflating their numbers (a family plan counts as 6 paid users even if you aren't sharing it with that many other people).

Spotify has also spent more than $1 billion on podcasting, which doesn't seem to have paid off. The idea was simple - grab more listeners who spend more time on the platform and generate more ad revenue. But the problem is that podcasting isn't the easiest to monetise (eg: Joe Rogan), exclusives are costly, and their bet in going after celebrities and politicians fizzled when it turned out that not many people were interested in listening to the likes of Meghan Markle. Makes Apple look prescient for deciding to just leave podcasts alone and let podcasters do their own stuff.

In short, their move into podcasting clearly hasn't paid off, they appear to be fast running out of money, and they have maybe until 2026 before they start having to service the massive debt they took on during the pandemic.


So yeah, maybe Apple Music just might end up being the last man standing and Spotify finds itself being acquired by another platform like Microsoft.
Indeed, unless things change, I also see them being acquired by a juggernaut. Could actually be a good buy for Microsoft if they got it right.
 

TechnoMonk

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2022
1,467
1,885
Activist leadership works when things are booming around. When the economy starts tightening up, these guys will start looking at activist decisions of leaving money on the table. Unfortunately Employees will pay the price in layoffs. I am looking at you too Epic.
 

TechnoMonk

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2022
1,467
1,885
So I'm not the only one who realizes the Apple Music UI is absolutely abysmal?

(I'd never have subscribed on my own, but I got a free 6 months with some used AirPods I bought. I have to decide if I'm gonna cancel in the next week or so, leaning toward canceling.)
I wouldn’t call it abysmal. I subscribe to Apple Music. It’s not perfect but meets my needs. Spotify is terrible for me. I also have iTunes Match with over 10 K songs, I like to use my old collection with newer ones.
 

MCUK-PM

macrumors newbie
Feb 22, 2023
1
0
Might be related to audiobooks. Premium users get 15hrs total listening per month. Used up my allowance, got told I’d have to buy more reading time or wait till next month to continue.
 

missingar

Suspended
Jun 22, 2023
310
718
So, I mentioned this before but feel I should say/ask it again.

I use the PlayStation App on my phone. I signed into my PlayStation account and I buy my digital games from PlayStation right in the App and never deal with Apple as Sony has my CC attached my PS account.

If Sony can do this, why don’t other companies do this. If Spotify wanted to let people buy Audiobooks and skip the IAP, they should/could just copy Sony’s process. He** any company could do this.

Before these CEOS and such complain over and over, maybe they should look at viable alternatives that work.
What you're doing with playstation is the same as shopping online. When you buy content from Sony Interactive Entertainment it's downloading and being played on your Playstation. This might have something to do with the difference in policy/process. Apple doesn't allow companies like Spotify to collect payment methods in app.
 
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vicviper789

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2013
329
1,812
I unsubscribed from spotify after they removed a bunch of hard to find songs. The icing on the cake is that they give you a goodbye playlist and it had songs that were removed from their platform.
 

japanime

macrumors 68030
Feb 27, 2006
2,908
4,813
Japan
I wouldn’t call it abysmal. I subscribe to Apple Music. It’s not perfect but meets my needs. Spotify is terrible for me. I also have iTunes Match with over 10 K songs, I like to use my old collection with newer ones.
Are you paying additionally for iTunes Match? If so, you don't have to. Apple Music includes iTunes Match.
 
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