Apple Hits Back at the Accusations Made by Spotify

  • Apple Hits Back at the Accusations Made by Spotify

Apple Hits Back at the Accusations Made by Spotify

Apple Inc on Thursday responded to Spotify Technology SA's complaint with European Union antitrust regulators, saying the audio streaming service "wants all the benefits of a free app without being free".

It added that the App Store has generated $120 billion for developers while offering users a secure platform and that Spotify is seeking to sidestep the rules that every other app follows. It also criticizes Spotify for wanting to take advantage of the reach that the App Store makes possible, without wanting to give anything back.

"The majority of customers use their free, ad-supported product, which makes no contribution to the App Store", Apple said.

The statement then takes Spotify to task for some of its "misleading rhetoric". Specifically, Spotify said Apple requires a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple's in-app purchase system, which includes upgrading from its free to premium service. Apple countered that the revenue sharing at that level only applies during the first year of an annual subscription - Spotify, it said, "left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after".

In Friday's early hours, Spotify and Apple traded potshots in their ongoing battle over the App Store.

"Let's be clear about what that means".

In its complaint to European Union regulators, Spotify said Apple blocks access to its app and upgrades its releases, including on the tech giant's Apple Watch (the music app for the device was released in November 2018). And we built a secure payment system - no small undertaking - which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. "Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue", Apple says.

Apple says Spotify wants 'the benefits of a free app without being free'

Apple didn't address Spotify's primary argument that its own streaming app, Apple Music, isn't subject to the same restrictions it imposes on Spotify which is really the whole point of the complaint. "We think that's wrong", Apple claimed.

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

To educate the public on the matter, Spotify has created a website called timetoplayfair.com, in which it presents its case on why it thinks Apple is not playing nice. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition". In contrast, Apple claims that its goal is to "grow the pie", and create more opportunities for businesses, artists, creators, and entrepreneurs via the App Store. This isn't just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry.

Apple also slammed Spotify for aiming to "make more money off others' work", including that of "artists, musicians and songwriters".

Apple Music accepted the new CRB rates, while Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Google appealed against them.

Apple's statement mostly glosses over this point and instead criticises the streaming service for attempting to appeal a pay rise for songwriters.