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

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  • Reply 41 of 49
    hucom2000 said:
    Apple is great in portraying itself as the „good guy“ or „victim“. Excellent press department.

    I’m not saying they are the bad guy in this context. However, given the ludicrous amounts of cash they are accumulating (with margins most other businesses can only dream of), I do wonder if 30% are necessary or greedy.

    It would be interesting to see calculations of what it actually costs Apple to render these services to app makers - but of course we‘ll never ever get that...
    How much do you think it actually costs, say, Microsoft (or say Adobe) to produce an extra copy of its Office (PS) suite? And what does that have to do with their pricing?
    edited March 15 watto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 49
    normmnormm Posts: 555member
    The only part of Apple's argument I disagree with is "now they're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs".  As a service becomes big, it should pay a smaller and smaller percentage, since its value in making iOS device attractive grows.  For example, Amazon should pay only a tiny charge to sell a book directly in their app .  Making the charge large enough that they simply avoid selling directly just loses revenue for Apple, and inconveniences the users.  The only sane rationale for Apple doing it the way they do is that it makes extra money for their Books App.  But this really is improper use of market power.  It's like internet providers selling their own streaming services, and slowing down the competition that uses their pipes.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 43 of 49
    stukestuke Posts: 83member
    aaargh! said:
    To be fair, Spotify has little choice but to use the App Store, it's not as if you can distribute iOS apps to consumers in any other way. Apple would have a point if Spotify could just put the IPA up on their website for users to download, but they can't. 
    Right. Just like hundreds of thousands other app developers who use the same ecosystem Apple built (first!) from the ground up. Spotify, go cry in your own milk!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 49
    snd7snd7 Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    AF_Hitt said:
    aaargh! said:
    To be fair, Spotify has little choice but to use the App Store, it's not as if you can distribute iOS apps to consumers in any other way. Apple would have a point if Spotify could just put the IPA up on their website for users to download, but they can't. 
    You’re missing the point. Simply using the App Store does not make Apple take 30% of Spotify’s revenue. The only portion of revenue Apple takes is of in-app purchases for Premium, and that drops to 15% after a year. Spotify could easily go the Netflix, Hulu, etc. route and simply not offer in-app purchases, instead relying on customers to be smart enough to open up Safari and sign up there. Netflix, Hulu, all the streaming live tv platforms, Amazon, etc. don’t seem to struggle with this, yet Spotify can’t seem to figure it out. Desperate move from a desperate company.
    Thanks for your point, my understanding has been isn't someone able to just go online to Spotify's website and create a paid account there and then you just log into your account on the app on your iPhone bypassing the Apple tax? Or am I not understanding the terms correctly? If that's correct then I don't see Spotify's complaint, but again maybe I don't understand the terms? I know I signed up for Acorntv on the web for $5/month whereas if I had signed up for Acorntv on my Apple tv the cost was $7/month and then I went to the app on my Apple tv logged into my account and was only paying $5/month for the Acorntv subscription service.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 49
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,332member
    kestral said:
    Who defines what a "free" app gets and what a "paid" app gets?

    Apple.

    The real headline should be: Apple wants to be both a player and the referee.
    It’s pretty simple. You knew the rules of the game going into it. You agreed to the developer agreement and guidelines. Now you’re upset with the hand that gave you opportunity in the first place. Didn’t you know that you were making a service that directly competed with iTunes? Didn’t you figure that Apple wouldn’t sit still if that happened? Come on. Get real. You just want Apple to give you special treatment because you’re so special in your eyes.
    jbdragontmaynobelpeaceprizewatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 49
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,648member
    jkichline said:
    kestral said:
    Who defines what a "free" app gets and what a "paid" app gets?

    Apple.

    The real headline should be: Apple wants to be both a player and the referee.
    It’s pretty simple. You knew the rules of the game going into it. You agreed to the developer agreement and guidelines. Now you’re upset with the hand that gave you opportunity in the first place. Didn’t you know that you were making a service that directly competed with iTunes? Didn’t you figure that Apple wouldn’t sit still if that happened? Come on. Get real. You just want Apple to give you special treatment because you’re so special in your eyes.
    That isn't enough. For certain things, Apple isn't allowed to 'make the rules'. Put a different way, it can make them but it doesn't make them compliant with the law. As such, an investigation may conclude that they do not comply with the law and fines could come into play.

    It is like contracts. You can put the clauses (rules) you want in a contract and have someone sign it but that doesn't make the contract compliant with applicable law. Again though, a court case (complaint) must be brought to determine the facts.

    Spotify has brought a complaint and it is yet to be seen if the rules Apple made (only allowing for one App Store - its own) are in fact permissible.
    edited March 16
  • Reply 47 of 49
    So, Spotify has evidence that Apple doesn’t perform an inter-department transfer @ 30% for it’s own apps? I know that the company I work for uses inter-department transfers for this sort of thing and that each department operates much like a business within the business. For example, Factilites charged the department I work in each month for providing a desk, chair and other items to do my job. Most of the reason I now work from home, but I digress.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 49
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,646member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    AF_Hitt said:
    aaargh! said:
    To be fair, Spotify has little choice but to use the App Store, it's not as if you can distribute iOS apps to consumers in any other way. Apple would have a point if Spotify could just put the IPA up on their website for users to download, but they can't. 
    You’re missing the point. Simply using the App Store does not make Apple take 30% of Spotify’s revenue. The only portion of revenue Apple takes is of in-app purchases for Premium, and that drops to 15% after a year. Spotify could easily go the Netflix, Hulu, etc. route and simply not offer in-app purchases, instead relying on customers to be smart enough to open up Safari and sign up there. Netflix, Hulu, all the streaming live tv platforms, Amazon, etc. don’t seem to struggle with this, yet Spotify can’t seem to figure it out. Desperate move from a desperate company.
    1. dominant share in handsets in the US among people that pay for services (probably)

    3. a competing music service, which is tied to the handset owner's credit card and therefore frictionless sign up.
    1: that’s really breaking it down, isnt it? Does Apple have a dominant share of handsets in the US, period?

    They do, and by a significant margin, more than twice as much as their nearest competitor. In fact Apple holds nearly a 60% share of the US market for smartphones.

    But this complaint is in the EU, not the US. In Europe Apple reportedly has north of a quarter of the market, just behind Samsung. Everyone else is far behind them. 
    That's user share, not marketshare of sales, for those that aren't looking closely.

    Android OS Device sales almost always exceeded Apple's yearly marketshare of sales in the U.S, but that may be changing as Android OS users also hold on to their devices longer.


    Apple leads every other smartphone manufacturer by double digits in US marketshare by whatever metric you wish to use. They have for years. Here's one closer to what you're wanting:
    https://www.counterpointresearch.com/us-market-smartphone-share/
    Spotify is talking about Apple and iOS, and so we should be talking about user share, share of all U.S. smartphone users, which Apple leads in the U.S., against Android OS user share. Worldwide, it's likely that Japan is the only other country with an iOS user share larger than Android OS user share.

    Otherwise, Android OS leads iOS in every other country in both user share and marketshare of yearly sales. Whether Apple dominates other Android OS device makers in the U.S. is irrelevant as this is a comparison of platforms, and more so, of platforms in the EU.

    No sir, they're talking access to iPhone users. You might like to talk about something else as it's a more convenient discussion point.

    Not all Android devices are served by Google Play or even use Google Android, in fact tens of millions are not. But every iPhone, Apple Watch, Homepod, iPad etc is served by Apple and iOS. That's a majority share across the board for all of their mobile and/or streaming products (except the HomePod), far higher than any other consumer electronics manufacturer. 
    Spotify may be talking about all iPhone users, but this challenge is in the EU, not in the U.S.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/03/13/spotify-accuses-apple-of-anti-competitive-practices-in-europe-over-app-store-restrictions

    Until Spotify challenges Apple in the U.S., we are only talking about iPhone users in the EU.

    As I stated earlier, anti-trust in the U.S. is generally targeted to favor consumers, not corporations, which is what the E.U. anti-trust laws generally target.

    Spotify might want to wait for that Supreme Court challenge of Apple's Store;

    https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-court-apple/u-s-supreme-court-weighs-antitrust-dispute-over-apple-app-store-idUSL2N1XW119

    Even then, I think that any SC ruling would be narrow, and of not much significance to Apple financially. There has been very little in the way of consumer harm demonstrated by Apple in its online commerce, so the result will likely be a legislative determination to cap rates, likely at the 15%, and only for subscriptions. I don't see the App rate of 30% changing.

    I'm not one of those that wants to see Apple's "Walled Garden" made into an insecure, leaky mess, comparable to much of the world's Android OS ecosystem. That's a consumer choice that I want to retain, and if others don't like it, Google's Android OS is available in the EU and the U.S. as a fine alternative. 

    At any rate, none of these actions is going to help Spotify's business model survive.
    edited March 16 anantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 49
    nobelpeaceprizenobelpeaceprize Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Good on Apple for responding to this and exposing the tomfoolery that is Spotify's leadership right now. I love Spotify and use the free version regularly, but what they're demanding isn't fair, esp. considering the fact that they would not be where they are today if it were not for their iOS app on the App Store. I just really don't understand why they just don't pull a Netflix and send users to sign up for Premium through their website, since they're so salty about Apple taking their 30%. Are they to lazy to or what? I don't get it. Apple better stand their ground, and hopefully they have good lawyers on the case. Something tells me however that the court won't take Spotify's claims seriously anyway and side with Apple.
    edited March 19 watto_cobra
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