Spotify says Apple a 'monopolist' in escalating war of words

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  • Reply 101 of 146
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    Yeah, but it’s free to download the Spotify app from the App Store and sign in to your Spotify account, you could even say Apple is absorbing the hosting cost for Spotify, since it this instance Apple gets 0% of that users Spotify subscription. More complicated, let’s face it if signing up for a service on a website then downloading a free app is beyond your capabilities, chance are you don’t possess the mental faculties to use a smartphone in the first place. It seems like all Netflix numerous users both understand and manage this just fine. I guess the big difference is Netflix spent the money to build both it brand and value proposition to the world at large, perhaps Spotify should have done the same. It probably also helps Netflix had a sustainable business model vs Spotify’s plan of hoping they might one day figure it out.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 102 of 146

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Wait, we're dealing with today's media and how they twist things around.






  • Reply 103 of 146
    tehabetehabe Posts: 19member
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    Yeah, but it’s free to download the Spotify app from the App Store and sign in to your Spotify account, you could even say Apple is absorbing the hosting cost for Spotify, since it this instance Apple gets 0% of that users Spotify subscription. More complicated, let’s face it if signing up for a service on a website then downloading a free app is beyond your capabilities, chance are you don’t possess the mental faculties to use a smartphone in the first place. It seems like all Netflix numerous users both understand and manage this just fine. I guess the big difference is Netflix spent the money to build both it brand and value proposition to the world at large, perhaps Spotify should have done the same. It probably also helps Netflix had a sustainable business model vs Spotify’s plan of hoping they might one day figure it out.
    All you are explaining might be true but it is not the issue. The issue is, that Spotify can't distribute their application outside of the control of Apple. And therefore Spotify depends to be treated fairly. When Apple starts its video streaming service this year, we will see how Netflix and Amazon will react. There are many things how Apple can make its own service be better on iOS than the one of the competition. And not many people will switch to Android because they can't use Netflix or Spotify anymore. That the application is free on the App Store is simply irrelevant for this discussion.
  • Reply 104 of 146
    bwik said:

    If so, that seems excessive, just for providing a download portal to its users.

    No, I am not suprised that techie boyz do not know how retail works. So it should be a great shock to learn that manufacturers have to pay a store to display their products. Are you* going to say that whatever Best Buy charges Sony to display a PlayStation is "excessive for just providing a portal to Sony"? How about grocery stores? Now, I know that techie boyz still have their mommies doing the shopping, but your favorite brands are at eye level because those brands *pay the store* to be at eye level. Yet no one ever accuses Kroger or Albertsons for "being greedy and only in it for the money." The reason you don't know about is because the cost is hidden to the consumer, so you don't think about it, atlhough you are indirectly paying for it. The stumbling block for techie boyz is that music and apps are non-physical products. That and techie boyz think everything should be free. 

    (*Meaning "you" in general, not you, the poster, in particular.)
  • Reply 105 of 146
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    Lots of interesting arguments being made.  Now that Apple is both providing the platform and competing directly with third party apps and services on the platform, the waters are being muddied.  I suspect that this is just a taste of what's to come in the future concerning Apple and its "monopoly".

    I think the comparisons to Microsoft in the 90s are somewhat valid.  Microsoft provided the platform (Windows) and leveraged that position to favor Internet Explorer.  After buying a PC that came preloaded with Internet Explorer, that customer could still download Netscape, but how many did?  Clearly not enough to keep Netscape afloat.  The situation isn't much different with iOS and Apple Music.  Now that a music service comes bundled with iOS and signing up is one tap away, there's less incentive for the user to seek out another service.

    Apple is clearly using its platform monopoly to favor Apple Music, which is pretty much exactly what Microsoft did with Internet Explorer.  Who makes the underlying hardware is irrelevant if we're looking at things in terms of the platform/OS.  Sure, a software developer can say, "No Apple for me, I'm Android only!" but that's like saying "No Windows for me, I'm Mac only!" back in the 90s.  A few brave souls managed to make it work, but if you wanted access to a broad customer base who spent money on third party software, you needed to be on the Windows platform.  It's the same thing with mobile today.  If you want to make money as a developer, you need to be on iOS.

    When it comes to Apple's percentage of the sale, I don't think you can compare the App Store to retail or Amazon.  The fact is, if you don't like Amazon's terms, you can go make a deal with Target or Walmart to sell your product.  You can also start your own online store and not pay anyone a cut.  If you're developing for the Mac, Windows, Android, and pretty much every other OS, this holds true.  However, if you're an iOS developer, you have no choice.  You must agree to every one of Apple's terms or you're completely shut out of the platform.  People defending Apple here should think long and hard about what kind of future they want.  I appreciate the security aspects of the App Store model, but I also don't believe that it's in the best interest of the consumer, or society in general, for one company to have unregulated control over a platform.  We've never seen anything like this before.  Microsoft never had the kind of control over what happens on Windows PCs that Apple has over iOS devices.

    Just because Apple built the platform, that doesn't mean they should be able to do whatever they want.  As someone pointed out, it's a bit like the railroads back in the day.  They thought (and I'm sure they had their defenders back then too) that since they built it, they should be able to own and control everything.  I'm sure people said "well, if you don't like it, just build your own railroad", just as some suggest today that Spotify should build its own OS and hardware.  This specious argument completely ignores reality.  There comes a point where it's essentially impossible to compete against something that has become completely entrenched.  No one managed to displace Windows despite the fact that several better (from a technical standpoint anyway) solutions came along.

    Whatever happens from here, I think it's safe to say that Apple will face increased scrutiny, pressure, and legal challenges over their "walled garden".
    edited March 17 tehabe
  • Reply 106 of 146
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,522member
    I say let the lawyers decide it. But I stand with apple over here. Apple doesn’t own a monopoly on any market. If you don’t like their rules don’t play in it. 
     Funny enough ,Spotify’s iOS app is much better than the Droid version last time I checked.
    Last time I checked there is one App Store on iOS. Their ecosystem is closed. Since 2007 Apple has become a dominant player. They practically invented the mobile phone as we know it today. They are more than a “vendor”, they are the true definition of a monopoly with the market share they have and their current practices should have been addressed a long time ago. 

    You should try to be more emphatic towards developers. Because “if you don’t like their rules don’t play in it” is a very simplistic, one-dimensional view on this matter. What is really the developers’ option here? That’s only Google Play, and they serve a different audience and also ask 30%. Those two are the true options here. If you think that’s healthy then sorry, I can’t take you seriously. 

    hexclock said:
    25 billion valuation, 5 billion in revenues and they still don’t make a profit. Yet somehow it’s Apple’s fault. Okay, then. 
    Spotify is not claiming they don’t make a profit as a company because of Apple. You just made that up. However they do have problems with Apple unfair business practices, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. 

    Fact is, the mobile market today consists of two dominant, monopolistic ecosystems, one serving Android users and one serving iOS users (assuming we ignore China). Both are beyond vendor status and have a vast market share. Developers are forced to publish through those two options, both taking 30%. 
    Ecosystems of this size should be commercially open. 

    Fifteen years ago Microsoft was fined for pushing their browser product via their own operating system. Compared to this that was child’s play. Apple needs to change this and I hope the EU will start to break this idiotic system down.

    Apple either needs to accept other commercial stores on iOS and/or lower their margins considerably so they are more cost based. Yes this comes with severe security concerns that need to be addressed technically, but at least it creates a fair market.  

    Android phones FAR outnumber iPhones. By definition, not a monopoly.
  • Reply 107 of 146
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,918member
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    So what? Does Spotify pay anything to Apple for distributing that application for free? What Netflix pays to Apple for streaming to its Netflix iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil... What Spotify pays to Apple for streaming to its Spotify iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil. All Apple says is "You're free to distribute your free application via the AppStore and stream whatever content to it, you pay nothing for distributing your app and for the content you stream. But when you attempt to sell subscriptions from within that app or it redirects the user to your sales page, then you pay a percentage." There is nothing wrong with that, if you use someone else's store to make profits you pay something, that's it. All markets, offline or online, work this way. Try to sue Amazon in order to sell on Amazon wihout paying a fee to Amazon, you'll just ridicule yourself... This is why Spotify chooses to lobby among EU bureaucrats, it is aware that its claims do not hold water before a court...
    edited March 17
  • Reply 108 of 146
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,067member
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    So what? Does Spotify pay anything to Apple for distributing that application for free? What Netflix pays to Apple for streaming to its Netflix iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil... What Spotify pays to Apple for streaming to its Spotify iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil. All Apple says is "You're free to distribute your free application via the AppStore and stream whatever content to it, you pay nothing for distributing your app and for the content you stream. But when you attempt to sell subscriptions from within that app or it redirects the user to your sales page, then you pay a percentage." There is nothing wrong with that, if you use someone else's store to make profits you pay something, that's it. All markets, offline or online, work this way. Try to sue Amazon in order to sell on Amazon wihout paying a fee to Amazon, you'll just ridicule yourself... This is why Spotify chooses to lobby among EU bureaucrats, it is aware that its claims do not hold water before a court...
    Interesting that you bring Amazon up, since Amazon certainly attempt "to make profits" using an app, yet they don't pay a dime to Apple.  It's the imbalance between these different types of apps that causes a lot of frustration.  Free apps don't pay Apple for distributing their apps, apps that are a storefront for physical goods don't have to pay anything, yet apps that allow subscriptions for digital services do?  It's all very arbitrary, and Apple competing in some of those digital services makes the situation decidedly foggy.
  • Reply 109 of 146
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    Apple either needs to accept other commercial stores on iOS and/or lower their margins considerably so they are more cost based. Yes this comes with severe security concerns that need to be addressed technically, but at least it creates a fair market.  

    It's Apple's store they don't need Spotify, if they (Spotify) are unhappy leave and use the unprofitable Android app store.
  • Reply 110 of 146
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    tehabe said:

    Funny how you conveniently left out the companies that give away Apples invention for 50 bucks causing Apple to lose a monopoly on the smart phone.

    Apple did not invent the smartphone and never had a monopoly over it.
    Apple invented the smartphone with a OS and browser that most people actually want to use. What came before was crap. The same was true for hard drive music players. The smart watch, and the same will be true of any future smart glasses or folding smartphones.
  • Reply 111 of 146
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    Abalos65 said:
    tundraboy said:
    And that is the number 1 reason I avoid the security and privacy hell that is the Android ecosystem.
    Isn't this however the exact same situation as on the Mac? Here I can also download applications from the internet or Steam, is the Mac therefore not secure?
    No that would be Microsoft Windows OS ecosystem. 
  • Reply 112 of 146
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    crowley said:
    tehabe said:
    urahara said:
    tehabe said:
    When it comes to distribution of applications for iOS Apple is a monopolist. You can't buy applications anywhere else. On the other hand, Spotify is not a monopolist, there are many music streaming services on the market, including Apple Music who are competing with Spotify. And currently i it is doubtful if you could charge more than $10 per month for music streaming.
    When it comes to sell Big Mac in the McDonalds, it is a monopolist. By your logic.
    By 'correct' logic - McDonalds is the owner. Apple is the owner of their platform. It has absolutely nothing to do with monopoly. 
    You didn't get my point. There is no other way for Spotify to get there application on an iOS device than Apple's App Store. That is the monopoly part. This is also true for the Play Store on Android. Even though you could side load applications on Android, it is off by default and not recommended, so the Play Store is the only store for applications on Android and therefor a monopoly.

    McDonald's is not a monopoly because there are other fast food chains and restaurants on the market. it would be different for example, if McDonald's had an exclusive contract with a mall and would be the only store on the food court.
    Fraid not, as kids would say.  Your argument about McDonald’s plays out like this...  Hot dog shack (a fictional small restaurant) sees that MacDonalds has a huge number of customers attracted to their restaurants, and so goes to McD’s management and says, “how can we sell our dogs to your huge customer base, inside your stores?”  And McD’s says, “just pay us 30% and you’re in.”

    So for a while Hot Dog Shack does that and everyone is happy.  But then one day MacDonald’s decides to start selling hot dogs too.  Now HDS is pissed, and they want the government to step in and demand equal access.  After all, MacDonald’s doesn’t have a 30% surcharge to make up when selling their own dogs.  

    But here’s the rub.  For all the food sold inside the MacDonald’s restaurants, MacDonald’s is doing the marketing spend to pull in those customers.  HDS might do its own marketing, to promote its own locations, but it doesn’t have to do any marketing to tell customers to come to a MacDonald’s, because plenty are already there, drawn in by MacDonald’s marketing efforts, which MacDonald’s pays for 100%. 

    So by demanding equal access, HDS is basically asking to have their kiosks selling their products in MacDonald’s restaurants without paying the 30% tariff that supports MacDonald’s rents, insurance, marketing, upkeep, etc. 

    Do you know what MacDonald’s is gonna do?  Kick HDS out.  Bye bye.  I do wonder whether Apple has in its contract the ability to eject any app, for any reason or purpose it sees fit, from its platform.  Bye bye, we no longer wish to do business with you! 
    Ugh, I hate these analogies that spin out of control.  You are missing one notable thing however, hardware.  The apps sold in the App Store can only run on Apple hardware, therefore a symbiotic relationship has developed, apps drive sales of hardware, and hardware drive sales of apps.  And since Apple make the majority of their money from hardware, and the app store is effectively the only way to get apps on that hardware, the situation with the app store is far more complicated than fast food. 

    Even if Spotify aren't able to make anything of this legally, I think Apple are treating their developer community pretty badly here.  Time to shape up.
    Wrong, Spotify is just a freeloader who wants special treatment, Apple's developer's are payed very well went compared to the Android no profit ecosystem.
  • Reply 113 of 146
    Abalos65 said:
    Abalos65 said:
    tehabe said:
    Abalos65 said:
    urahara said:
    Abalos65 said:
    supadav03 said:
    I don’t know. I kind of think of it like a grocery store. If I want to sell my goods at a grocery store I have to pay. I have to pay slotting fees, pay-to-stay fees and display fees, etc. All the while the grocery store can sell their own brand of goods for less, right alongside mine, without paying the same fees. While they don’t pay the same fees as me, they have other cost associated with running the store that I don’t incure. Pretty reasonable business model that’s used all over. Idk...doesn’t seem unfair to me. 
    The drawback of analogies is that they do not always fit perfectly. How would the fact that iPhone users can only access the App Store fit into your analogy? Or Spotify not being allowed to mention the fact that they have set up their own 'store' on their own website?
    Which stores can Android users access to download the apps?
    Play Store, Amazon app store, Samsung app store, F-Droid and any application can be downloaded via a browser (see ApkMirror for example or Fortnite), which also means many online app stores
    In theory there are many but in most cases it is only one, the Play Store isn't available on Amazon devices, the Samsung one is not available on Pixel devices. And side loading doesn't work by default. The practical consequence is, that the store for applications is essentially a monopoly you have to use, if you want to sell/offer your application to the consumer of that device. The grocery example therefor wrong.
    There was simply asked if there are other app stores on Android. I agree that for most people there is only one store they go to. Not allowing Spotify to mention their own website for sign up is my main issue with Apple stance here, not the App store or the 30% cut. The grocery example isn't my idea, I also have problems with simple analogies to these discussions.
    So address it directly.  Is it fair to Apple to provide all the infrastructure, all
    the marketing that sells iOS devices and provide all its user base to a third party to gain from for free?  Why should Spotify have access to all the marketing Apple does to acquire and retain customers?  If you find the customer, then you did the work to onboard him/her, and then you can have all the revenue.  That’s Apple’s stance.  Isn’t that fair?  My bank profits from me, they acquired me all by themselves.  And Apple hosts a Bank of America app for free in the App Store, for me to download and continue my relationship with my bank.  If Spotify onboards a customer through their own marketing costs, then they can control the communication with that customer and send them to download their app.  This costs Spotify nothing more, no charge by Apple.  Pretty decent of Apple.

    But if you want to place a free app in Apple’s App Store, where it will be exposed to hundreds of millions of Apple’s customers, then you are using Apple’s marketing dollars to acquire your customers.  And you cannot expect Apple to then hand over those customers to you to bill, cutting Apple out of the loop and out of some of the benefit [revenue] from that customer Apple supplied.  How would that be fair?

    i recall back in the days of shrink wrap software when Kenfil, Ingram/Micro-D, Egghead and other distributors took 55%.  They had the customers, we didn’t.  And it was very expensive running direct marketing advertisements in PC Magazine and elsewhere.  So we priced our titles (SmartNotes, SeeMORE, @Base, UltraVision, Monarch, etc) accordingly such that we could make a profit.  We understood what they brought to the party.  Spotify seems to have lost sight.   


    I do not think it is an one way street, as you are describing it. Having all these useful third party apps is also a benefit to Apple. A reason for me choosing Apple is the great third party app support. The infrastructure and marketing investment done by Apple is not done out of charity, it directly benefits Apple in the form of iPhone/iPad sales and even Apple Music subscriptions/ iCloud plans etc. As Crowley said, there is a symbiotic relationship between Apple and third party app development and you're only describing the benefits Apple brings to the table.

    Who's to say that the App Store marketing is the reason that people found the Spotify app on iOS? If people see an advertisement from Spotify on the TV or the internet and download the app from the App store to try out or hear about Spotify from a friend, is this exclusively because of Apple providing the app in the App Store? Is the 30% justified here?
    So, in some posts you’re upset that Apple does not allow Spotify to have links to a website where people can sign up for Spotify outside of Apple, because how would people know they have that option. Now you’re saying  that those same people would see an advertisement on TV or the internet and be led to the App Store (by Spotify, by the way) but still be completely unaware they could sign up on Spotify’s website?  

    Again, Apple gets no money from Spotify for people who have signed up for the free tier, only the paid tier through IAP. For anyone who signed up via means other than IAP Apple gets 0%, but still hosts the app, maintains the systems, maintains iOS and the App Store, provides updates to iOS and developer tools etc, and only asks for 30% of sales made through the app. 

    In your view, what is a fair way for Apple to be compensated for everything they provide to Spotify?
    Yes, there are of course consumers who will know this, although not everyone. A great example of potential problems are described in this thread: https://community.spotify.com/t5/iOS-iPhone-iPad/I-can-t-find-the-option-to-upgrade-to-Premium-on-my-iOS-app/td-p/1398748/page/1
    Here are people ON the spotify site, not knowing if when signing up on the PC the premium account will also be available on iOS. This is only one example from the thread, I would recommend looking at all the replies. This shows clearly how the rules Apple made benefit them.

    I would personally like Spotify to be able to sign up new users just like they are able to do on Android: 

    IAP purchases could also be brought back, though it should clearly state that $3 would go to Apple. But at the very least it should be possible for Spotify to mention in the app that it is possible to sign up on their website. 

    tehabe
  • Reply 114 of 146
    tehabe said:
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    Yeah, but it’s free to download the Spotify app from the App Store and sign in to your Spotify account, you could even say Apple is absorbing the hosting cost for Spotify, since it this instance Apple gets 0% of that users Spotify subscription. More complicated, let’s face it if signing up for a service on a website then downloading a free app is beyond your capabilities, chance are you don’t possess the mental faculties to use a smartphone in the first place. It seems like all Netflix numerous users both understand and manage this just fine. I guess the big difference is Netflix spent the money to build both it brand and value proposition to the world at large, perhaps Spotify should have done the same. It probably also helps Netflix had a sustainable business model vs Spotify’s plan of hoping they might one day figure it out.
    All you are explaining might be true but it is not the issue. The issue is, that Spotify can't distribute their application outside of the control of Apple. And therefore Spotify depends to be treated fairly. When Apple starts its video streaming service this year, we will see how Netflix and Amazon will react. There are many things how Apple can make its own service be better on iOS than the one of the competition. And not many people will switch to Android because they can't use Netflix or Spotify anymore. That the application is free on the App Store is simply irrelevant for this discussion.
    There is no “might be true”, it takes less time than you spent writing you post to verify this as fact. As long as Spotify is not actively being denied “free” distribution of the app your point of where the actual app is obtained is irrelevant. Should Apple be upset that the Spotify, who by far has the largest marketshare, doesn’t allow Apple to advertise Apple Music on their website? If Apple charged the 30% for all of Spotify’s users to download/install/use the app, no matter where they subscribed to the service you might have a point, but that simply isn’t reality. 

    Are you one of the soon to be laid off employees of Spotify?
    ndirishfan1975
  • Reply 115 of 146
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,918member
    crowley said:
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    So what? Does Spotify pay anything to Apple for distributing that application for free? What Netflix pays to Apple for streaming to its Netflix iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil... What Spotify pays to Apple for streaming to its Spotify iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil. All Apple says is "You're free to distribute your free application via the AppStore and stream whatever content to it, you pay nothing for distributing your app and for the content you stream. But when you attempt to sell subscriptions from within that app or it redirects the user to your sales page, then you pay a percentage." There is nothing wrong with that, if you use someone else's store to make profits you pay something, that's it. All markets, offline or online, work this way. Try to sue Amazon in order to sell on Amazon wihout paying a fee to Amazon, you'll just ridicule yourself... This is why Spotify chooses to lobby among EU bureaucrats, it is aware that its claims do not hold water before a court...
    Interesting that you bring Amazon up, since Amazon certainly attempt "to make profits" using an app, yet they don't pay a dime to Apple.  It's the imbalance between these different types of apps that causes a lot of frustration.  Free apps don't pay Apple for distributing their apps, apps that are a storefront for physical goods don't have to pay anything, yet apps that allow subscriptions for digital services do?  It's all very arbitrary, and Apple competing in some of those digital services makes the situation decidedly foggy.
    When users open an account using Amazon's iOS app, they purchase nothing (yet). That account creation is not a sale or rental. When subscribing to Netflix or Spotify from their respective iOS apps, there is a sales agreement between the user and the seller. Apple has right to claim a fee on that agreement as it facilitates the creation of an agreement. If the application's sole purpose is to sell a subscription then it cannot evade a commission. If Amazon were selling a subscription then it would pay that commission. Yet I don't know if a Prime subscription can be made from within Amazon's iOS app, what I see is "you are not a Prime member" label and I can't go to a Prime activation screen from there. If this is possible from within the iOS app then Apple may claim a fee on that Prime membership. As far as I know Apple doesn't claim any fee on distinct goods sold from an iOS app, the fee applies only to subscriptions. Whether this is good or bad is not relevant to the discussion.
    edited March 17
  • Reply 116 of 146
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    snapjack said:
    I manufacture products that we sell online and on Amazon, to be able to sell on Amazon we pay a fee then storage and approximately 50% of the final sale price to Amazon. 30% sounds like a drop dead bargain to me for access to Apple’s customers. What do they expect! What they want is for Apple to quit competing with them and they are jumping on the political bandwagon to pressure Apple. I can see the EU doing something but not here.
    In the shrink-wrap era the fees were 30% for you and 70% to the middlemen. And all other fees on you.
  • Reply 117 of 146
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,067member
    crowley said:
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    So what? Does Spotify pay anything to Apple for distributing that application for free? What Netflix pays to Apple for streaming to its Netflix iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil... What Spotify pays to Apple for streaming to its Spotify iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil. All Apple says is "You're free to distribute your free application via the AppStore and stream whatever content to it, you pay nothing for distributing your app and for the content you stream. But when you attempt to sell subscriptions from within that app or it redirects the user to your sales page, then you pay a percentage." There is nothing wrong with that, if you use someone else's store to make profits you pay something, that's it. All markets, offline or online, work this way. Try to sue Amazon in order to sell on Amazon wihout paying a fee to Amazon, you'll just ridicule yourself... This is why Spotify chooses to lobby among EU bureaucrats, it is aware that its claims do not hold water before a court...
    Interesting that you bring Amazon up, since Amazon certainly attempt "to make profits" using an app, yet they don't pay a dime to Apple.  It's the imbalance between these different types of apps that causes a lot of frustration.  Free apps don't pay Apple for distributing their apps, apps that are a storefront for physical goods don't have to pay anything, yet apps that allow subscriptions for digital services do?  It's all very arbitrary, and Apple competing in some of those digital services makes the situation decidedly foggy.
    When users open an account using Amazon's iOS app, they purchase nothing (yet). That account creation is not a sale or rental. When subscribing to Netflix or Spotify from their respective iOS apps, there is a sales agreement between the user and the seller. Apple has right to claim a fee on that agreement as it facilitates the creation of an agreement. If the application's sole purpose is to sell a subscription then it cannot evade a commission. If Amazon were selling only one or a few well defined goods or services then most probably it would pay that commission. Yet I don't know if a Prime subscription can be made from within Amazon's iOS app, what I see is "you are not a Prime member" and I can't go to a Prime activation screen from there.
    A weak distinction.
  • Reply 118 of 146
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,918member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    tehabe said:
    jcs2305 said:
    bwik said:
    tehabe said:
    supadav03 said:

    As I said it a reply to someone else? What about video game marketplaces? Should Playstation be forced to allow access to Xbox live on their hardware? No.

    Plus, this kind of strays from the issue anyways. It’s not customers complaining they can only access Spotify via App Store, it’s the seller complaining they can’t direct customers away from the App Store. So I’m not sure why “being the only store” matters when that’s where customers want to shop. We made that choice when we purchase Apple hardware. 
    The stores on the PlayStation and Xbox can be monopolies if the customer can't easily access other stores. Customers might not complain but Spotify does, while they have to calculated the App Store charges into their price, Apple Music doesn't, which resulted in a higher price for Spotify than Apple Music on iOS. So if someone was looking for a music streaming service on their iPhone they would see that Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music and might because of that choose Apple Music over Spotify. That is the gist of it. And I think that Spotify has a point here.
    Nothing prevents Spotify from selling its services elsewhere. They are not bound to AppStore. Apple would be a monopoly if it were preventing Spotify by all means, including selling elsewhere. If you sell in the competitor's brick & mortar store you pay at least a rent for that store. "You monopolist ! I will sell my legumes in your store, stay back !" Say that in one of your villages and see the outcome !

    Expand on this.  What other place can I download Spotify's iOS app and pay for its use?  
    You can sign up for Spotify premium here 

    https://accounts.spotify.com/en/login/?_locale=en-US&continue=https:%2F%2Fwww.spotify.com%2Fus%2Fcheckout%2Fpremium%2Ffamily%2F

    Then go to the IOS App Store get the app and sign in with your credentials.

    I do this with YouTube and Netflix as we speak. I pay for YouTube Red directly to Google via PayPal ( for $9.99 instead of $12.99 via the app and App Store ) and TMobile pays for my monthly Netflix subscription. 

    From what I understand the 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase. 
    This is exactly the issue. You can sign up for Spotify outside the App Store but you can't get the application out side the App Store. Also this makes the subscription process more complicated than it for e.g. Apple Music.
    So what? Does Spotify pay anything to Apple for distributing that application for free? What Netflix pays to Apple for streaming to its Netflix iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil... What Spotify pays to Apple for streaming to its Spotify iOS app is nothing, nilch, nil. All Apple says is "You're free to distribute your free application via the AppStore and stream whatever content to it, you pay nothing for distributing your app and for the content you stream. But when you attempt to sell subscriptions from within that app or it redirects the user to your sales page, then you pay a percentage." There is nothing wrong with that, if you use someone else's store to make profits you pay something, that's it. All markets, offline or online, work this way. Try to sue Amazon in order to sell on Amazon wihout paying a fee to Amazon, you'll just ridicule yourself... This is why Spotify chooses to lobby among EU bureaucrats, it is aware that its claims do not hold water before a court...
    Interesting that you bring Amazon up, since Amazon certainly attempt "to make profits" using an app, yet they don't pay a dime to Apple.  It's the imbalance between these different types of apps that causes a lot of frustration.  Free apps don't pay Apple for distributing their apps, apps that are a storefront for physical goods don't have to pay anything, yet apps that allow subscriptions for digital services do?  It's all very arbitrary, and Apple competing in some of those digital services makes the situation decidedly foggy.
    When users open an account using Amazon's iOS app, they purchase nothing (yet). That account creation is not a sale or rental. When subscribing to Netflix or Spotify from their respective iOS apps, there is a sales agreement between the user and the seller. Apple has right to claim a fee on that agreement as it facilitates the creation of an agreement. If the application's sole purpose is to sell a subscription then it cannot evade a commission. If Amazon were selling only one or a few well defined goods or services then most probably it would pay that commission. Yet I don't know if a Prime subscription can be made from within Amazon's iOS app, what I see is "you are not a Prime member" and I can't go to a Prime activation screen from there.
    A weak distinction.
    I added the following to my comment: "As far as I know Apple doesn't claim any fee on distinct goods sold from an iOS app, the fee applies only to subscriptions. Whether this is good or bad is not relevant to the discussion." A distinction between physical goods and subscriptions may be weak, but that won't resolve Spotify's position, since it is a subscription-only service.
  • Reply 119 of 146
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 426member
    Abalos65 said:
    Spotify did offer in-app subscriptions at one point, but charged more to compensate for Apple's take, and ultimately decided to scrap the option. Another complaint developers have had is that they're not allowed to direct people to Web-based purchase options, which means Spotify subscribers have to learn elsewhere about how to unlock a Premium plan.
    I didn’t realize Spotify no longer offers in-app subscriptions. I was under the impression that was what their complaint was around and having to give up 30%. If that is no longer the case are they complaining about only those customers who initially signed up through IAP and they continue to pay 30% on?

    Also, if they no longer pay that 30% on new subscribers what is their complaint over unfairness re: Apple Music?
    The reason for the complaint is that the only option for Spotify is paying the 30% when new users want to subscribe on iOS while making no reference to the possibility of other places where one could subscribe. So potential new paying users for Spotify on iOS would have to pay $13 to compensate for the 30%, and make no mention on the possibility of signing up on the web. As you said, the IAP subscription is removed, however Spotify is still not allowed to mention where to sign up, people have to figure this out for themselves. This while Apple Music can be bought for $10 per month. So people using predominantly an iOS device as their main computing device are more likely to subscribe to Apple music given the rules Apple has set up.
    Users of Spotify can simply go to their website. The Spotify app is free, so Spotify is using Apple's store for free  -- no charge. For all apps, including Spotify, there is a link to the developer website which takes any user who is interested to their website where Spotify can encourage users to sign up and go Premium. And, of course, Spotify has the user's information from Apple. 

    Basically, Spotify has everything they need and for free. 
  • Reply 120 of 146
    realistic said:
    Abalos65 said:
    urahara said:
    So what solution does Spotify offers?
    And how they want to pay for selling their product through App Store?

    I like Spotify app more than Apple's.
    but seriously, regarding this I am on the Apple's side. 
    I don't know what Spotify would offer, however I personally do not find it fair that Spotify cannot mention that you could subscribe to Premium via the web and would like Apple to allow this. 
    So using your logic. All stores, services and products should allow the vendor to mention where you could buy the product for a better price.
    Nope, I am only talking about this situation.
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