Spotify has just denounced Apple before the European Commission, accusing the company of creating rules for the App Store that “deliberately limit other options and prevent innovation at the expense of the user experience” and “act as a player and referee, which is a disadvantage for other application developers. ”
The problem comes from the famous 30% commission that Apple charges developers for subscriptions. If you hire the Spotify Premium plan from the iOS app, the price goes up to 12.99 when out of it the price is 9.99.
The founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, has written an entry in the official Spotify blog and the company has also posted a video explaining their complaints.
Spotify compares Apple to a thief
The problem seems serious enough and it will now be the European Commission that must decide. Spotify believes this gives Apple an “unfair advantage” since Spotify is unable to compete with Apple Music at the same “standard” price of $ 9.99 / euros. This is a big problem given there are over 1 billion active iOS devices.
The problem comes through the payment system that Apple uses and that Spotify complains about. Applications like Uber and Deliveroo, for example, can charge directly from customers because they offer “products or services that will be consumed outside of the application” according to the guidelines and rules of the App Store.
That is not the case of Spotify since their services are offered within the app, so they must go through Apple’s payment system and give Apple 30% of revenue. Basically, Spotify wants to change the rules to compete better against Apple Music.
However, the video of the company is quite exaggerated and shows Apple as a thief who gets a 30% profit without doing anything. This is not the case, Spotify has reached so many users thanks to the companies selling smartphones. If the iPhone is not sold, Spotify does not get as many subscribers.
It is also using a platform like the App Store that is a window open to a billion users in the world that are benefiting without paying more than the share of developers since Apple does not charge anything for free applications. It is a complex issue and it will be the European Commission that should mark the limit between both positions.