Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify:
Apple operates a platform that, for over a billion people around the world, is the gateway to the internet. Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store—and a competitor to services like Spotify. In theory, this is fine. But in Apple’s case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn.
Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do.
If we choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify. For example, they limit our communication with our customers—including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases, we aren’t even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.
Read the whole thing. And don’t miss the timeline.
Add this for a bit of perspective:
Take Spotify’s complaints and timeline with a grain of salt. https://t.co/Ew2NpGan8P— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) March 13, 2019
It’s really just three things:
– Apple’s 30% cut is high
– The rules around it are anticompetitive
– Spotify gets rejected a lot for trying to evade them
Everything else is a bit bullshitty.
Feels like things are about to get quite messy.