Spotify made accusations towards Apple of not approving an important update to the iOS version of its music streaming app, causing major inconveniences. The company’s frustration towards this decision was revealed through a letter that Spotify had sent to Apple’s top lawyer. The letter was then sent to officials in Washington D.C to be publicized.
In the iOS App Store, if you make any subscriptions or purchases, 30 percent of the money goes into Apple’s pockets. This was introduced back in 2011, stirring up some controversy, but developers eventually agreed to let Apple take a cut. In the new Spotify update which was to be released, the billing system for its premium subscription was to be changed to Spotify’s own system, outside of the App Store leading to no cut for Apple.
Due to this becoming a rising issue, Apple made changes to their policy in an attempt to make app developers continue to use their own billing system. Earlier this month, they announced that they will be reducing their share from 30 percent to 15 percent for all ongoing subscriptions. This only applies to customers that have subscriptions extending more than a year old.
According to Recode, the letter said,
“It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify”
For the past year, Spotify has continuously argued to regulators in the United States and Europe, that Apple’s subscription policies harm various music streaming competitors in favor of Apple’s own product. The music streaming company has continued to use Apple’s billing system for years, it was only last year that it took steps to move the billing system outside of the app store when Apple’s own music streaming service, Apple Music was officially released.
Apple pressurized Spotify to stop advertising the promotion plan within its iOS app, otherwise it would be removed from the App Store. They complied, but then stopped offering Apple any subscription options, which lead to the current argument between the companies.