Apple Fires Back at Spotify in Escalating App Store Feud

Apple hits back at Spotify in anti-competition row

This is evident in Apple's belief that Spotify's users on iOS are Apple customers and not Spotify customers, which goes to the very heart of the issue with Apple.

Good Apple vs. Bad Spotify?

Apple says that after using the App Store to grow its business, Spotify is now demanding that it gets all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem while not having to make any contributions towards its maintenance and upkeep.

In the letter, Apple accused Spotify of being stingy, saying they want to enjoy the benefits the App Store ecosystem provides without paying into it. It said that it has approved almost 200 app updates, and "the only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every app follows". This, Apple claims, makes no money for Apple.

The tax does not apply if people subscribe through a non-Apple device, such as on a desktop, and then use the service.

Its statement added that Apple has "reached out" to Spotify about support for its Siri and AirPlay 2 features "on several occasions", and that Spotify has "told us they're working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can". This central tension gives Tim Cook's behemoth what Ek calls "an unfair advantage at every turn"-whether by disallowing apps from promoting discounts, or by imposing the so-called "Apple tax". As far as Apple Watch goes, Apple claims it reviewed and approved Spotify's Apple Watch app, which was submitted in September 2018, "with the same process and speed with which we would any other app".

However, Apple said Spotify left out the fact that the revenue share after the first year of annual subscription drops to 15 percent. It claimed the tech giant has, over the past few years, "introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience - essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers".

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With regard to the 30 percent charge on in-app digital content in the App Store, Apple notes that 84 percent of apps pay nothing, including Spotify's own ad-supported app.

Apple said that "only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple's revenue-sharing model". The company also points out that Spotify's Watch app is now the number one app in the Watch Music category.

Spotify also argued that when it tried to find a way around that revenue split, Apple treated it unfairly by preventing Siri integration with Spotify's service and blocking app updates.

Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments.

"We think that's wrong", it said. A similar antitrust case about potential overreach in Apple's walled garden-Apple v.

The iPhone maker said Spotify "wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric" and its treatment of artists is a "damaging step backwards for the music industry".

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