Spotify, other music services allege Apple App Store policies anti-competitive

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  • Reply 41 of 106
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    rp2011 wrote: »
    I love Apple products as much as anyone, but as Apple gets in the streaming game it is going to HAVE to change. These are serious anti-competitive issues that will not go away. We do not want to see happen to Spotify what happened to EVERYONE under Windows. If Apple doesn't address this, they should get their asses sued big time.

    Spotify has a great service, and if the only way Apple can compete with them is the Walmart or Microsoft way, where by nothing but sheer virtue of size, and keys to the store, then it makes competition impossible, and that's fucked up and always has been. That's why anti monopoly laws were created in the first place.

    As has been mentioned, Apple holds no monopoly in this space. The App Store policies have been in place a long time now and I never read about Spotify complaining until rumors of the revamped Beats Music service began swirling. If Spotify provides better value to the consumer then they will be successful. Just because Apple can afford it does not mean Apple has to give free hosting and promotion to competing products on their platform. The 30% cut is SOP and has been for years. If Apple was purposely charging only Spotify that 30% then an argument could be made. To cross the bridge, you have to pay the toll. That isn't being anticompetitive, it's just the cost of doing business.
  • Reply 42 of 106
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,677member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by rp2011 View Post



    I love Apple products as much as anyone, but as Apple gets in the streaming game it is going to HAVE to change. These are serious anti-competitive issues that will not go away. We do not want to see happen to Spotify what happened to EVERYONE under Windows. If Apple doesn't address this, they should get their asses sued big time.



    Spotify has a great service, and if the only way Apple can compete with them is the Walmart or Microsoft way, where by nothing but sheer virtue of size, and keys to the store, then it makes competition impossible, and that's fucked up and always has been. That's why anti monopoly laws were created in the first place.

     

    First of all, you're not making a valid comparison between Microsoft with it's 90% share of the desktop PC market versus Apple's almost 20% of the mobile device market. There isn't a monopoly issue with iOS at all. Second, Windows was an open development platform - meaning anyone could write an application for Windows without needing Microsoft's permission. Again, this is not the case with Apple and iOS; Apple can choose who gets to be a part of their development platform, and that developer must pay an annual fee. They can also revoke membership at any time. Then there's also the fact that Apple owns and controls the entire "widget" if they don't want 3rd party streaming services installed on their devices, they have the right to not allow it. Do you see Spotify or Pandora on Apple TV? No, you don't. Why isn't everyone up in arms over that?

     

    There would be an issue if Apple made them pay 30% for EVERY subscription regardless of which platform the user subscribed from. But that's not how it works, Apple only wants a cut of every NEW subscription generated from THEIR platform and there's nothing wrong or illegal about that. Apple's platform is acting as a conduit to get that user to Spotify's service.

  • Reply 43 of 106
    eliangonzaleliangonzal Posts: 490member
    [SIZE=14px]The pro-Apple zealots can fry me for all I care, but this sort of scrutiny is par for the course given Apple's size and influence today. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">The problem is that success and size have come so quickly and so dramatically for Apple that it has not-- and we have not -- grown out of its "small, beleaguered" company mentality.</span>
    [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=14px]Apple, like the proverbial Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion, whether it likes it or (and its fans like it or not). There will be more and more of this type of unwarranted, obtrusive scrutiny. Either allow in all sorts of competition, or, Apple has to simply get out of these types of businesses -- ebooks, streaming, etc. Much to our frustration, it means giving up some principles [/SIZE][SIZE=17px]so[/SIZE][SIZE=14px] that Apple can keep its larger profits.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=14px]It is no wonder that the stock is taking such a beating despite the incredible financial performance.[/SIZE]

    What is this, planet Cornball?
  • Reply 44 of 106
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    First of all, you're not making a valid comparison between Microsoft with it's 90% share of the desktop PC market versus Apple's almost 20% of the mobile device market. There isn't a monopoly issue with iOS at all. Second, Windows was an open development platform - meaning anyone could write an application for Windows without needing Microsoft's permission. Again, this is not the case with Apple and iOS; Apple can choose who gets to be a part of their development platform, and that developer must pay an annual fee. They can also revoke membership at any time. Then there's also the fact that Apple owns and controls the entire "widget" if they don't want 3rd party streaming services installed on their devices, they have the right to not allow it. Do you see Spotify or Pandora on Apple TV? No, you don't. Why isn't everyone up in arms over that?

    There would be an issue if Apple made them pay 30% for EVERY subscription regardless of which platform the user subscribed from. But that's not how it works, Apple only wants a cut of every NEW subscription generated from THEIR platform and there's nothing wrong or illegal about that. Apple's platform is acting as a conduit to get that user to Spotify's service.

    First, Apple wants to eliminate the free option from Spotify and others. Apple knows they can't compete one on one so they want to eliminate that option to eliminate any advantage. Sleazy.

    Second, since they don't have to the 30% they can undercut everyone and still make more money.

    Third, they are directly copying the competition model because they were beginning to lose their monopoly with iTunes. Customers are ditching their iTunes model for streaming, so Apple wants to unfairly kill them.

    Now if they keep their app separate and not bake it in, and stop lobbying the labels to remove any advantage Spotify may have in their free tier, and compete FAIRLY, then cool. But to use their platform in the same abusive ways Microsoft and walmart use to crush their competition by the sheer size and ubiquity, then government HAS to step in smack them real hard back in their place.
  • Reply 45 of 106
    libdemlibdem Posts: 36member

    Many people seem to enjoy Spotify and I have no grouse with that.

    Personally?I do not understand what the issue is.Even Spotify free does not allow you to search and play songs of your choice.If you want to listen for free  go to youtube.And youtube has a much wider selection on any language than spotify. Problem solved.

    There is no reason to believe Spotify is more altruistic than Apple.It is not.And if your first language is not English (as mine) the choices on Spotify is abysmal to say the least.

  • Reply 46 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post

     

    Regardless, they should all be paying the same royalty rate as terrestrial radio, cause its the same damn thing... a business broadcasting a song.  If anything the internet streaming rates should be higher, since their reach exceeds a radio stations broadcast's range.


    Nope, nope, nope.

     

    First, the terrestrial radio royalty system needs to be retooled. Performers/producers get zero. Songwriters/publishers are the only parties making $$$ on terrestrial radio in the United States. That's why major producers often require "points" aka a percentage off songwriter credit, and that's why many top hits in the US are "written" by 5+ people.

     

    Second, broadcast royalty rates are dependent on audience size. Ever seen the episode of Family Guy where the Griffins are a "Nielsen" family? On radio and television, audience size is estimated and royalty rates is adjusted accordingly. On Spotify or Pandora, the audience is theoretically a single listener (licensed for private use). Side note: using Spotify or Pandora to play music in your public business violates their terms. For that type of usage, a blanket commercial license is required from rights holders or the performing rights organizations that collect royalties on their behalf. 

     

    Third, Spotify and similar services offer on-demand streaming. This is relatively new ground and labels and streaming services are constantly cutting back door deals to try to set the royalty rates because there haven't been any overarching legal minimums established. It's very different from iTunes Radio/Pandora/etc where you don't get to pick your specific songs. 

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sully54 View Post



    The thing is, it's not the early 2000's anymore and public sentiment has turned towards making sure artists get their fair share of the pie. I don't know what apple has planned with regards to this aspect of the business but spotify may not be the victim it hopes to be in this narrative.

    You may be the first person I've ever heard that thinks public sentiment has any interest in how artists/songwriters fare in this mess. I've believed for a while though, that Apple has the brand and the deep pockets to properly compensate artists in a more direct way. From an artist perspective, we're all waiting for that one streaming service that takes good care of the folks who create the content. If Apple can get the artists on board, and set a reasonably competitive price point for consumers, then everyone wins (except Spotify, et al.)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by friedmud View Post

     



    Spotify is pretty high quality.  Just set the "Extreme" quality in the "Music Quality" settings menu...


    I agree, but die-hard audiophiles will bash streaming quality until lossless is streamable without artifacts. 320k just doesn't cut it if you've spent a small fortune on preamps, etc. 

  • Reply 47 of 106
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    rp2011 wrote: »
    First, Apple wants to eliminate the free option from Spotify and others. Apple knows they can't compete one on one so they want to eliminate that option to eliminate any advantage. Sleazy.

    Second, since they don't have to the 30% they can undercut everyone and still make more money.

    Third, they are directly copying the competition model because they were beginning to lose their monopoly with iTunes. Customers are ditching their iTunes model for streaming, so Apple wants to unfairly kill them.

    Now if they keep their app separate and not bake it in, and stop lobbying the labels to remove any advantage Spotify may have in their free tier, and compete FAIRLY, then cool. But to use their platform in the same abusive ways Microsoft and walmart use to crush their competition by the sheer size and ubiquity, then government HAS to step in smack them real hard back in their place.

    1. Is that fact?
    2. Undercutting is also anti competitive unless you're Amazon.
    3. iTunes isn't a monopoly.
    4. Do you read what you write? You ask for Apple to compete "fairly" yet you want them to undercut its competitors. Talking out of both sides of your mouth.
  • Reply 48 of 106
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    Not terribly worried how Apple makes its coin as long it makes lots of it. My Apple stock depends upon it and I want to be out of the system by Xmas 2015 so I can lounge under some tropical fruit trees away from the ice age that is upon us. And that it goes up enough that I don't have to go to some cheap beleaguer swamp with only porky service ladies and homemade swill and no ice.

    Thirty-five years this ice age is to last so Apple, get to work.

    Namaste and care,

    mhikl

    edit for missing word. My bad.

  • Reply 49 of 106
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    The pro-Apple zealots can fry me for all I care, but this sort of scrutiny is par for the course given Apple's size and influence today. The problem is that success and size have come so quickly and so dramatically for Apple that it has not-- and we have not -- grown out of its "small, beleaguered" company mentality.

     

    Apple, like the proverbial Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion, whether it likes it or (and its fans like it or not). There will be more and more of this type of unwarranted, obtrusive scrutiny. Either allow in all sorts of competition, or, Apple has to simply get out of these types of businesses -- ebooks, streaming, etc. Much to our frustration, it means giving up some principles so that Apple can keep its larger profits.

     

    It is no wonder that the stock is taking such a beating despite the incredible financial performance.


    "The problem is that success and size have come so quickly and so dramatically for Apple . . "

    39 years is quick and dramatic?

  • Reply 50 of 106
    hydrogenhydrogen Posts: 314member

    I prefer to own the music I listen to. Still, I miss the opportunity to discover new artists, as I did when I used to listen to radio, (which is not the case any more).

     

    This is, I believe, where Apple can make a clever move (assuming they are clever, but this is not too bold assumption).

     

    People would appreciate a way to be exposed to new artists, possibly with "Beta versions songs" (something, which, for example is accomplished through SoundCloud, very popular among musicians).

     

    The only condition is to be aware that, although some artist enjoy worldwide recognition, it cannot achieved by others (although very talented ones) because they correspond to a local taste/language. There will always be a market, I believe, for the two types of artists.

     

    The identification of the latter requires some local expertise, and cannot be left to a small group of individuals based in the US, whatever their expertise can be.

     

    This "talents discovery" function used to be taken in charge by the records company, but in the Digital age, I believe artist can deal directly with Apple (and get a better revenue through this !). Same with books authors ....

  • Reply 51 of 106
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 812member

    As consumers, why would we not support Spotify? It is an excellent service that provides more value to consumers than to its shareholders; jackpot for consumers! Anti-competitive measures, like they did for books, could arise. Let's see.

     

    This complaint may be a reaction to Apple's alleged attempts to block music publishers to allow ad-supported ("free") music streaming. If publishers agree, Spotify would lose one of their revenue streams completely, and compete for the other with a 30% higher cost-of-goods-sold base. That is scary and if they have to close shop, we'd be worse off for it.

     

    On the other hand, Spotify must get much more creative in signing up Users to their paid-for-service outside of the App, they don't do nearly enough. They rely on free users upgrading to paid-for which is naturally done via the App, but I hope they find another way. I neither want to pay 30% more, nor do I want them to go bankrupt.

  • Reply 52 of 106
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,405member
    mhikl wrote: »
    "The problem is that success and size have come so quickly and so dramatically for Apple . . "
    39 years is quick and dramatic?

    39 years?

    Yeah, sure.
  • Reply 53 of 106
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I think Spotify could have a legitimate claim if they argue they have to pay 30% on every in-app purchase but Apple doesn't or would esentially be paying itself.

    Is this 30% cut of in-app purchases a significant revenue stream for Apple? What about giving apps the option to redirect to Safari for payment if they don't want to use Apple's in-app system and pay the 30%?
  • Reply 54 of 106
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,291member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blazar View Post



    On a side note, apple needs to have lossless, drm free, inheritable lossless accounts. I am sick of getting cd's and burning the lossless files into my library.

     

    I've been singing this tune for years. What gets me is, the lossy version of a new album often costs more than the CD. Take the new Mumford & Sons for example. The CD version is $9.99 on Amazon, but the 256k lossy version is $14.99 in the iTunes store. Sure, the lossy version has 4 bonus live tracks, but are they worth an extra $5?

     

    Back on topic, I'd bet that all these "reports" of anti-competitive behavior are coming from those entities who feel most threatened by Apple making an even bigger push into the music streaming / music-on-demand marketplace (as has already been speculated about). Not unlike how Amazon went crying to the DOJ about Apple's deals with the big publishing houses.

  • Reply 55 of 106
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,291member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post

     

    On the other hand, Spotify must get much more creative in signing up Users to their paid-for-service outside of the App, they don't do nearly enough. They rely on free users upgrading to paid-for which is naturally done via the App, but I hope they find another way. I neither want to pay 30% more, nor do I want them to go bankrupt.


     

    I'm an on-and-off Spotify user, and as such, still only have the "free" account. I can tell you one thing for certain though, if I were to upgrade to their paid service, I won't be doing it via the app. To be honest, I can't even see how to do it via the iPhone app. If I try to change the quality, it offers a 7-day free trial, which I then clicked on, but then that failed. It seems to me that the logical place to upgrade from would be the Spotify website or their desktop app.

  • Reply 56 of 106
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Is this 30% cut of in-app purchases a significant revenue stream for Apple? What about giving apps the option to redirect to Safari for payment if they don't want to use Apple's in-app system and pay the 30%?

     

    Apple should not be expected to give up its industry-standard fee. This is the cost of doing business in the App Store basically since its inception and is the standard also used by Google. Google Play also offers streaming music - where is Spotify's complaint that having to pay Google 30% is unfair?

  • Reply 57 of 106
    I can see where Spotify is coming from here. Every time I try to clean out my garage and set up a booth to sell stuff inside my local Walmart, they hassle me like crazy!
  • Reply 58 of 106
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post

     

    As consumers, why would we not support Spotify? It is an excellent service that provides more value to consumers than to its shareholders; jackpot for consumers! Anti-competitive measures, like they did for books, could arise. Let's see.

     

    This complaint may be a reaction to Apple's alleged attempts to block music publishers to allow ad-supported ("free") music streaming. If publishers agree, Spotify would lose one of their revenue streams completely, and compete for the other with a 30% higher cost-of-goods-sold base. That is scary and if they have to close shop, we'd be worse off for it.

     

    On the other hand, Spotify must get much more creative in signing up Users to their paid-for-service outside of the App, they don't do nearly enough. They rely on free users upgrading to paid-for which is naturally done via the App, but I hope they find another way. I neither want to pay 30% more, nor do I want them to go bankrupt.


    Apple is attempting to reinforce with public statements what music publishers already know; that free or ad supported music generates very little irevenue for anyone  in the music pipeline. This is not news.

     

    What, per se, are Apple's anti-competitive measures "like they did in books"? For all intents and purposes, Apple setup a level playing field for every distributor with the agency model, which in fact, didn't even hurt consumer pricing (overall). As a fact, almost all of Apple's media is at an agency model, albeit with tier pricing in place.

     

     

    And yes, I agree with you that Spotify needs to employ marketing so it doesn't have to piggieback on Apple's store,  where it fairly would incur the 30% "penalty", just like everyone else on the store (sans HBO).

     

    But here's the rub. If Spotify can't compete with a re-release of Beats, is it because Apple has nurtured a media ecosytem for years or because Apple is big. What I'm seeing it that Spotify needs to concern itself with organic growth, not point fingers at players that have been in business for nearly four decades.

  • Reply 59 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,294member
    tmay wrote: »
    Apple is attempting to reinforce with public statements what music publishers already know; that free or ad supported music generates very little irevenue for anyone  in the music pipeline. This is not news.
    I don't think the folks at Beats were particularly concerned with how much the artists were going to get. Numerous reports claim Apple was trying their best to get the labels to reduce royalty demands to the point Beats could still turn a profit at $5 or so a month. The labels wouldn't roll over. They also tried for $7.99/mo which reportedly won't be workable either (oddly that's the price Google Play Music was introduced at).

    So no, trying to get the content licenses as cheaply as possible, pressuring for reduced royalties, isn't having the best interests of musicians in mind do you think? IMHO it's almost always about the money and Apple is far from the only company with high margin expectations. Heck, it's business.
  • Reply 60 of 106
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Apple really needs to buy their own politicians and install them in Washington...y'know, like how Google, Amazon and Samsung work.
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