Spotify has not been a fan of Apple’s App Store policies for years now, but the company buckled down in a big way when Apple launched its own streaming music service, Apple Music. And now Apple is aiming to make some things clear when it comes to those paid fees and more.
Der Spiegel (via CNET) has the report on Monday, outlining Apple’s comments regarding Spotify, the fees the company pays, and the number of subscribers those fees are actually associated with. According to Apple, Spotify only pays a 15% fee (which is lower than the standard fee) on about 0.5% of its total paid members. The top 30% fee is typically associated with most entities that want to sell apps through the App Store, but Spotify only pays the aforementioned 15%.
Apple goes on to say that Spotify is only paying that 15% on about 680,000 Spotify premium members. According to the original report, Spotify opted out of the in-app payment system back in 2016, as Spotify went on the record saying Apple’s fees were unfair with that particular program.
Apple is basically trying to showcase a couple of different things here with this latest statement on the matter. First, that Spotify is doing just fine in the App Store, despite the fees and policies. And second, Spotify is already paying smaller fees in general, and those fees impact a small number of Spotify’s total premium subscriber base.
As it stands right now, Spotify essentially declared war on Apple back in March of this year, filing an antitrust complaint in Europe. Spotify has been banging the drum against Apple’s fees associated with the App Store for quite some time, especially ever since Apple Music launched. Which certainly makes sense, as Spotify (along with other app developers) have had to hike up the price of an in-app subscription cost to help facilitate the fees, which means a standard $9.99 per month subscription can cost more than that just because a customer chooses to subscribe directly through the App Store.
Up to this point, Apple has already responded once before, releasing an open letter in response to Spotify’s complaint in Europe. Unsurprisingly, the company is going to bat for the way it does business with the App Store all over the world. In that response, Apple essentially said that Spotify used the App Store to grow its presence all over the globe, gain market dominance, and now wants to change the rules. Apple even threw Spotify under the bus for not doing enough for artists, songwriters, and other creators.
Which is why Spotify opted out of the option altogether in 2016. So if you want to subscribe to Spotify, you’ll need to do it through the company’s website directly. Which means user’s don’t have to pay any more per month, but also Spotify avoids the fees Apple has put in place.
Still, Apple does have a point that Spotify is doing quite well for itself already, and continues to do so, even with these fees and policies in place within the App Store.
What do you think? Is Spotify in the right here?