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

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  • Reply 81 of 106
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,377member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    The only question in there was whether anyone thought that Apple was concerned about the artists or instead more about how to maximize the profits from a music subscription. You've given your answer that whatever the performers and songwriters get should be of no matter to Apple. Not their problem. Others here seem to think Apple's goal is to make sure musicians get more money and that's the reason "free" streamers have to go.



    I'm more in that first camp with you.

    Apple deals with the Studios. The only way they can help the artist is by showcasing their music, i.e., maximize the volume of sales. Whether Apple is concerned or not isn't possible to answer, but Apple does support independent music on iTunes, with the artist getting 70%.

     

    You are creating a straw man which has nothing to do with Spotify's situation as Apple isn't going to shut down its free streaming app; that will be the Studios that will decide if and how.

  • Reply 82 of 106
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    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%?

     

    Considering the App is FREE, Apples would in effect be hosting their App and getting NOTHING!!!  30% of FREE is ZERO!!!  This is why Apple has the rules that it does.  You can't redirect people to your web site though the App.   

     

    Now if you want to create a Web App.  Now Apple is 100% out of the picture and you can keep 100% of your money!!!  

  • Reply 83 of 106
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post





    Exactly! The music labels were stupid to ever even license to these free and all you can eat services for a low monthly fee. It was short term thinking and is seriously damaging the business for the long term, and totally screwing the performers and song writers.

     

    You mean like tunes Radio and it's FREE service!!!

     

    http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/

  • Reply 84 of 106
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,377member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    That myth people keep throwing out there is just that!

    http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/


    Same cut as Apple.

     

    30%

     

    70% to rights holders

  • Reply 85 of 106
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rp2011 View Post

    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) This is right now only a rumour with no confirmation.  It is also not what this article is about.  I will agree that it is in this area, that of negotiating for content in general, where Apple needs to be cautious, given the experience with iBooks.  Apple may not be doing anything "wrong", but the DOJ and FTC "love" to say they are protecting the consumer, and have a habit of wanting to extort money from successful companies.

     

    2) As others have mentioned, this is not the case because all services that have apps on the App Store have the option to provide a "free app" that the user then logs into, with the subscription purchased outside of App Store.  The most successful ebook service uses this approach - Amazon - you might have heard of them.  There is also the web app approach.  Finally, iOS devices themselves have a minority of the smartphone market (though growing), and so it cannot be claimed that Apple providing a service to their own iOS base could have measurable harm on Spotify that is across multiple platforms.

     

    3) Apple are interested in expanding their offerings - this is just standard business-as-usual around the world.  This is the first I have heard that some like yourself believe it is "unethical" for a different company to enter into an established business.  Because NBC was the first broadcast channel, it was unethical for ABC and CBS to go into the broadcast business?  We constantly hear about competition being good for Apple, but your view is that Apple should not compete with any other established business?  

     

    Apple also has no monopoly with iTunes.  Amazon and others are in the music download business.  Apple was happy to get rid of DRM in music when the labels allowed it.  You can download from lots of sources to iTunes, and then sync that with your mobile device.  Or rip CD's, ...

     

    4) Apple does not have a dominant market share in any of its businesses (computers, mobile phones, tablet devices, or even music players any more which is now a very small market).  So your attempt to link Apple's position with Microsoft (90% desktop OS back in the day) is not grounded in any facts or reality.  If Apple "does" use illegal manipulation with labels to affect Spotify, then Apple does deserve to be punished.

     

    You seem to be a person that doesn't quite have a good grasp on the basic concepts here (what is a monopoly, what is Apple's market share, how do subscription services work with Apple's App Store, etc), but are very angry with Apple for some reason (perhaps they because they are successful?).  And perhaps you are a staunch advocate of Spotify, which is great (I haven't tried the service as it was not in Canada until not long ago, but hope to try soon).

  • Reply 86 of 106
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post





    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.

     

    It is not the 30% as such that is anticompetitive, it is the 30% combined with the very strict rules for making an app available on any iOS device that has an anticompetitive scent.  If Apple makes it easier for its own streaming service app than for the competition, on technical financial and legal levels, there is possibly a anticompetitive case in the making.

    If one looks how the European Commission looks at this subject, I would not be surprised that they'll make formal complaint in the near future.    

  • Reply 87 of 106
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    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.


     

    No it is not news, but as a consumer, I don't really care how much revenue the "music industry" generates. I am always in favour of getting products and services cheaper. I am surprised how many people worry about how much money musicians earn, but happily wear the proverbial T-shirt made in Thailand by a guy making 20p an hour. Or talk on Apple iPhones made by a woman making $ 5 a day, or drink Starbucks coffe from a barista making minimum wage in NYC or whatever. So the music industry is under pressure, so what? Bankers make 1/4 of what they used to make. That's life.

     

    I did not mean to say that Apple is acting anti-competitive, I expressed myself badly. I meant to say that the DOJ may investigate and regulatory actions against anti-competitive behaviour may arise as it did for books (it is not for me to say whether the book thingy was anti-competitive or not, but it is the DOJ's job and they seemed to think so; and what they say becomes the truth).

     

    In business all that is legal is fair. If Spotify believes that pointing fingers and/or raising regulatory concerns is a way to stay competitive, then that is their right to try. If Apple believes they can leverage their platform footprint to price others out of certain businesses, it is also their right to try. I am not vilifying one or the other, I am just stating what could happen, that both firms are fighting it out fairly, and that it will be interesting to see how it ends.

     

    In the end, the cheaper we get our music, the better. And Spotify has so far done a good job at making my music cheaper.

  • Reply 88 of 106
    chelinchelin Posts: 110member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post

     

    Oh please.  Spotify's payouts to artists are laughably infinitesimal, 0.007cents per play.  They are one of the main antagonists towards music artists with regard to revenue.  

     

    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.

     

    If a retooled Beats can forward even a tiny fraction of listeners to an iTunes Store purchase is a huge step in the right direction vs Spotify's virtual freeloading off artists work.




    How is it Spotifys fault how much the labels are giving to the artist? 

  • Reply 89 of 106
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post

     

    No it is not news, but as a consumer, I don't really care how much revenue the "music industry" generates. I am always in favour of getting products and services cheaper. I am surprised how many people worry about how much money musicians earn, but happily wear the proverbial T-shirt made in Thailand by a guy making 20p an hour. Or talk on Apple iPhones made by a woman making $ 5 a day, or drink Starbucks coffe from a barista making minimum wage in NYC or whatever. So the music industry is under pressure, so what? Bankers make 1/4 of what they used to make. That's life.


     

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that all musicians are in the (music) business because they have a marketable talent, and they want to make a living off of it. In other words, they earn money making music. While I can sympathize with the guy making t-shirts for mere pennies, or the barista making minimum wage, it takes a bit more work and commitment to make music. If you remove the monetary incentive to making music because you want it cheaper, the quality and variety of music will ultimately suffer. I believe there is an inherent value to everything, and it is entirely understandable why some people worry about how much musicians earn. How much revenue the "music industry" generates can have a very real effect even on us, the consumers.

  • Reply 90 of 106
    chelinchelin Posts: 110member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

     

     

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that all musicians are in the (music) business because they have a marketable talent, and they want to make a living off of it. In other words, they earn money making music. While I can sympathize with the guy making t-shirts for mere pennies, or the barista making minimum wage, it takes a bit more work and commitment to make music. If you remove the monetary incentive to making music because you want it cheaper, the quality and variety of music will ultimately suffer. I believe there is an inherent value to everything, and it is entirely understandable why some people worry about how much musicians earn. How much revenue the "music industry" generates can have a very real effect even on us, the consumers.




    The issue is not that, there is an expectation that you need to make ridiculous amounts of money just to sing a song. Reality contradicts the statement a bit, nowadays with the produced artists the real 'heroes' are the song writers and composers which gets even less than the artist singing the creative work.

    Give how labels acts nowadays quality and variety already suffers immensely. The fact is that the record industry is a market economy incarnation where the price per song is set through oligopoly. Why would music be the exception, people will pay to see/hear their favorite artists, but the will only pay what they think it is worth.

  • Reply 91 of 106
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 811member
    rob55 wrote: »
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that all musicians are in the (music) business because they have a marketable talent, and they want to make a living off of it. In other words, they earn money making music. While I can sympathize with the guy making t-shirts for mere pennies, or the barista making minimum wage, it takes a bit more work and commitment to make music. If you remove the monetary incentive to making music because you want it cheaper, the quality and variety of music will ultimately suffer. I believe there is an inherent value to everything, and it is entirely understandable why some people worry about how much musicians earn. How much revenue the "music industry" generates can have a very real effect even on us, the consumers.

    That's the argument but don't think so, for these reasons:
    - margin pressure usually results in better products, not worse, at a lower price
    - music is a mass product, there is no shortage of musicians. the winners and losers are not necessarily chosen by quality
    - the most profitable era for music, the 80's, was also musically the least diverse decade

    So I say: let there be competition, let there be pressure on margins.
  • Reply 92 of 106
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    Epp epp epp, take your meds. Don't forget to take your meds.
  • Reply 93 of 106
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    Who says Apple wants to eliminate the free option from Spotify?  Oh RUMORS!!!!!!!  There's ZERO facts actually released on that.
    How is Apple copying anyone?  Did you get to already see what Apple is doing with beats before everyone else here?  In fact Apple bought beats so wouldn't that mean Beats copied Spotify before Apple bought them?  Or maybe Spotify copied Apple and their itunes which was out long before Spotify!!!

    Your crap is just that, CRAP!   All this is based on a RUMOR and a service you havn't seen, used or know how much it costs.  Not even knowing of Apple would be doing a free level for beats either.  You have NOTHING.  Typical Apple hating fandroid going off on zero facts.  

    The doctor thinks the meds will help you. I think so too
  • Reply 94 of 106
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    None of this will come to pass without heavy governmental scrutiny you can guarantee. The issue of royalties paid to artists will also play a big part in any discussion. There is a fine line here separating at least 4 different concerns. Artists, labels, streaming services, radio, and the challenge not to also strangle the goose laying the eggs and price it above what the market/consumers can afford without driving consumers back to piracy.
    In which case everyone loses.
  • Reply 95 of 106
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    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.



    Spotify is leach, a scurge on all artists. So, give me a break. A big break.

    For most artists, currently, they may as well give their mp3s away, because that's how money they make from Spotify.

     

    If artists prefer streaming from people that actually pay them, instead of Spotify (like Apple),

    Spotify will destroyed and I will deserve to be destroyed and I'll very happy about it.

    I'm happy to give money to artists for the music I enjoy from them instead of crapping/pissing on them and telling them they got it good cause water and manure helps things "grow".

     

    So, please spare me the sob story about how you won't have all your little tunes for "free"; I don't care. Let spotify and the like crash and burn.

     

    And yes, I know A LOT of artists, and a lot of them are pissed off.

  • Reply 96 of 106
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rp2011 View Post



    None of this will come to pass without heavy governmental scrutiny you can guarantee. The issue of royalties paid to artists will also play a big part in any discussion. There is a fine line here separating at least 4 different concerns. Artists, labels, streaming services, radio, and the challenge not to also strangle the goose laying the eggs and price it above what the market/consumers can afford without driving consumers back to piracy.

    In which case everyone loses.

     

    So, paying more than next to nothing for music will drive them back to piracy; is that the baseline. Seriously?

    Everyone that defends Spotify make me laugh.

     

    So, if Apple says they'll pay artists 100% more than what spotify does now, which is still not a lot... The whole sad, and fragile edifice of streaming will collapse?  

     

    Should artists and label accept any offers for their services without being able to negotiate anything? Is that capitalism?

    You seem to want to nationalize those artists are "for the greater good" (sic).

     

    You really think the extra $2-3 a month will send people back to tracking down pirated mp3s, uploading them to their own cloud/or syncing them, despite the fact those same people bought $5-20 of singles per month just 2 years ago, when they could do the same thing? 

     

    Considering Apple could subsidize that $2-3 by hardware sales or in bundling it with higher value video services (as a kind of loss leader), people may in fact be paying less than before this way (that in going with services that just stream music).

  • Reply 97 of 106
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post





    That's the argument but don't think so, for these reasons:

    - margin pressure usually results in better products, not worse, at a lower price

    - music is a mass product, there is no shortage of musicians. the winners and losers are not necessarily chosen by quality

    - the most profitable era for music, the 80's, was also musically the least diverse decade



    So I say: let there be competition, let there be pressure on margins.

     

    If there is pressure on the margins, its not the current crop of talented artists that has to accept it. IF they don't want to accept the CRAP Spotify offers, then they'll have to find other lesser known artists which are hungrier and will accept those contracts.  Noting that there is nothing that stops Apple to offer lesser known artists the same deal as Spotify (a kind of development streaming deals, were the money gets better as the streaming count builds).

     

    The problem with that is that Spotify won't be able to make enough money with those unknown artists, no matter what their quality level is (which, will probably be pretty low anyway).

     

    You view of talented artists as a dime a dozen, flies in the face of my own 30 years experience in the periphery of the industry (I've known a few people in signed acts, one is the godmother of my sister's child), none every made it to the major league. But, some got very popular regionaly.

     

    Also, I lived through the 1980s and I beg to differ, the worse diversity was in crap 1970s (there's a reason punk rose up) and probably the late 1990s to early 2000s too. Almost all the genre that are strong now emerged in the 1980s or the very end of the 1970s. The 1960s were the best decade every for music, which makes what happened in the 1970s so sad (the 1970s started fine, but it quickly fell into crap).

  • Reply 98 of 106
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    No one is forcing them to have IAP. Netflix etc have never had it and they get scads of users.
  • Reply 99 of 106
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    If there is pressure on the margins, its not the current crop of talented artists that has to accept it. IF they don't want to accept the CRAP Spotify offers, then they'll have to find other lesser known artists which are hungrier and will accept those contracts.  Noting that there is nothing that stops Apple to offer lesser known artists the same deal as Spotify (a kind of development streaming deals, were the money gets better as the streaming count builds).

     

    The problem with that is that Spotify won't be able to make enough money with those unknown artists, no matter what their quality level is (which, will probably be pretty low anyway).

     

    You view of talented artists as a dime a dozen, flies in the face of my own 30 years experience in the periphery of the industry (I've known a few people in signed acts, one is the godmother of my sister's child), none every made it to the major league. But, some got very popular regionaly.

     

    Also, I lived through the 1980s and I beg to differ, the worse diversity was in crap 1970s (there's a reason punk rose up) and probably the late 1990s to early 2000s too. Almost all the genre that are strong now emerged in the 1980s or the very end of the 1970s. The 1960s were the best decade every for music, which makes what happened in the 1970s so sad (the 1970s started fine, but it quickly fell into crap).


    I completely understand your concern for artist's income that is driven down by services like Spotify, no doubt many musicians will consider this a threat to their livelihood. It is truly frightening to be in an industry where margins are being squeezed and the perceived value of one's work is eroded, or taken by another player in the value chain. They have every right to fight this threat.  They can do so by pulling their music, working with their labels, doing PR, asking for regulatory action, etc.

     

    But let's be clear that this is pure self-interest, I find the argument that incomes of musicians have to be protected for the greater good, because the quality and diversity of the music available to the consumer will deteriorate if we do not, quite misleading and a red herring. It is an argument that is always brought up when a special interest group sees a threat to their franchise; there is no proof that will be the case. Anti-competition regulators seldom put weight on that argument; it is wasted effort to bring this up to the regulators (unless in industries related to national security). .

     

    (Un)fortunately, the free-market system will continuously present these types of threats, to any industry, and usually, the consumer is better off for it, this is the whole premise of the free-market system - that the market will allocate resources, including talent, via price where it is most valued.

     

    Musician's income has been under threat for years, and as you know, has already shifted from selling songs to giving concerts before Spotify came around. This trend is increasing and the likes of Spotify are moving it further along. 

     

    The industry change that actually eroded a musician's ability to earn a living is globalization and consolidation: by centralizing the industry, fewer acts received a bigger audience. One way to make sure more artists can earn a good living is to spread the wealth: revive regional bands that build up a following in their state/region, more local marketing, local playlists on Spotify/iTunes radio/Pandora, local direct sales.

     

    Maybe the beer industry is a good model to study? It transformed itself from the piss that was drunk in America until the 90s provided by three brewers, to a vibrant high-quality craft beer industry that supports 1000's of small and mid-sized breweries.

     

    (PS: the statement that the 80's had the least variety in music comes form a study done by two universities in London, not sure if it is true or not: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/05/06/music-last-50-years/#.VUxxbflVhBc).

  • Reply 100 of 106
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,291member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chelin View Post

     

    Give how labels acts nowadays quality and variety already suffers immensely. The fact is that the record industry is a market economy incarnation where the price per song is set through oligopoly. Why would music be the exception, people will pay to see/hear their favorite artists, but the will only pay what they think it is worth.


     

    Sad but true.

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