Spotify cutting off remaining customers paying through the App Store

Posted:
in Apple Music

If you still pay for Spotify through the App Store, you won't be able to for much longer. Spotify is about to cut you off.

Spotify (on the left) and Apple Music (on the right)
Spotify (on the left) and Apple Music (on the right)



There was a window of opportunity for Spotify Premium customers to sign up directly through the App Store, between 2014 and 2016. Back then, the two companies were very vocal about their feelings regarding the digital storefront and its fees, with Spotify constantly declaring along the way that Apple should remove the 30% App Store tax altogether.

Spotify removed the ability for new customers subscribing to the service's Premium tier to do so through the App Store in 2016.

However, as reported by Variety, that option is on the way out, too.

Wednesday's report says Spotify is notifying customers who are still paying for their Premium subscription via Apple's billing that Spotify is no longer accepting that form of payment. Once the customer's most recent billing period ends, if they don't change their method of payment they will automatically switch over to Spotify's free, ad-supported tier.

The email goes on to say if customers want to retain their Premium subscription, they will "need to re-subscribe after your last billing period has ended and your account has been moved on to the Free account." Customers will need to choose one of the payment methods Spotify supports at this point to keep up their subscription.

This "war" between Apple and Spotify has been going on for years now. It has even gone as far as Spotify filing anti-competitive complaints in the European Union in 2019.

Spotify once said Apple One, Apple's bundle of subscriptions that include Apple Music, is a "threat to collective freedom."

The streamer also continues to bang the 30% App Store fee drum, omitting that it is it 15% for subscribers to a service for over a year.

For its part, Apple hasn't minced words, either. The company has said in years past that Spotify is a company that wants "all the benefits of a free app without being free," among other things.

Most recently, Apple says it has already changed its rules within the App Store and for developers enough to satisfy Spotify's complaint against the company in the EU. That includes marking some apps, like Spotify, as "reader" apps, which can link outside of the app for users to manage their account information or set up new accounts.

Interestingly, Spotify continues to argue that Apple is using its dominant position within the market to continue its "anti-competitive" behavior. Apple, of course, often points to the fact that Spotify remains the true dominant music streaming service in the market, with Apple Music sitting in second place.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    mobirdmobird Posts: 757member
    Who do I whine to for not being able to pay for the Premium Spotify subscription through the   App store? This is monopolistic behavior!!
    freeassociate2danoxapplebynaturewilliamlondontdknoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 140member
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 16
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    And they don't. Problem solved!
    jahblademacxpresschasmAlex1Napplebynatureentropysbeowulfschmidtwilliamlondontdknoxstompy
  • Reply 4 of 16
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    Well since In 2012 Apple had it’s walled garden and only 30% market share and the share has grown just over 20% in 10 years seems the customers are voting on how much they appreciate the walled garden approach.  

    Just because personally you would like to “jailbreak” your phone does not mean I want that for myself of my children’s phones.  That’s the joy of a non-monopoly situation, select the company and phone that meets your personal desires.
    chasmAlex1Napplebynaturewilliamlondontdknoxwatto_cobraFileMakerFellertmay
  • Reply 5 of 16
    twolf2919twolf2919 Posts: 127member
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    Apple built the phone and made the rules for software to be allowed on the phone before that "53%" even existed.  People buying an iPhone agree to this bargain.  Apple isn't dictating anything to those 53% or anyone else considering an iPhone - every one of those 53% agreed to follow the rules when they purchased their iPhone.  It's called *choice*.   They had/have plenty of alternatives.

    If Apple made their rules more restrictive *after* a couple billion people bought an iPhone, you might have had a point - but, of course, that's not the case.

    Similarly, Apple also didn't force companies to bend to their rules or just lose 53% of the mobile market.  Apple came up with a smartphone and platform and let third party developers sell their software on this platform, provided they followed the rules Apple felt would make it successful  - i.e. their software needed to go through Apple's review process and only be downloaded via the AppStore (because Apple believed its customers wanted security) and, if those apps sold any digital goods, they had to do so through Apple's payment mechanism and give up 30% of the price of the item (again, because Apple thought it would benefit users to only need to give their payment information to one company - Apple - rather than have it sent to every software maker who might mishandle it).

    Spotify, Electronic Arts, and all the other whiners out there agreed to those terms when they first got onto the iPhone - because they knew it was a win-win situation for everybody.  But then they got successful and greedy and suddenly they no longer want to pay up.  They want to change the rules.

    Individuals who want to force Apple to allow downloading of apps from anywhere on the web should simply buy an Android phone instead of destroying the good thing (security wise) that Apple has built.
    RonnyDaddychasmAlex1Nkempathonnodgeapplebynaturewilliamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 16
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    Surprised it took them so long to do this tbh.  I predict it will have practically no effect on their subscriber numbers. 
    Alex1Nentropyswilliamlondongrandact73
  • Reply 7 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,873member
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    If you don't like it then there are plenty of alternatives. Just like if you don't like the way a grocery store does business you can just go to another grocery store. Nobody is making you buy an iPhone just like nobody is making you shop as a specific grocery store. These are Apple's devices on Apple's store that they created and maintain themselves so they can dictate the rules all they want so again, if you don't like the way they play ball then pick up your bat and ball and go to another field and stop bitching and complaining. 
    Alex1Nwilliamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 8 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,427member
    Spotify is a fine service (that doesn’t pay its artists very well), and one that has a few advantages over Apple Music, including higher worldwide popularity.

    However, the general poor ethics of the company ensure that I will never be using their service, within our without the App Store. Apple Music pays artists nearly THREE TIMES as much money as Spotify, and often has to be taken to court to get them to cough up the money at all.

    Then there’s the whole DOH! Rogan thing. What a terrible error in judgement that was.

    So, it’s Apple Music for me until a truly better option comes along.
    Alex1Nwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Could we please stop saying “Apple tax”? The second I see that, I know the author has an agenda and the article is just propaganda.

    Where’s the article that points out the Google Tax everyone on the planet pays through their ad monopoly, and how those profits (80% of Alphabet revenue) goes towards subsidizing an OS that still
    sucks beyond belief. Where’s that article?
    edited July 2023 applebynaturedettwilliamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 10 of 16
    If Apple is smart they’ll be pushing out free trials for Apple Music out to everyone via email. I imagine they aren’t willing to target people based on whether or not they know they were paying for Spotify. But I think they could clean up. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,224member
    Could we please stop saying “Apple tax”? The second I see that, I know the author has an agenda and the article is just propaganda.

    Where’s the article that points out the Google Tax everyone on the planet pays through their ad monopoly, and how those profits (80% of Alphabet revenue) goes towards subsidizing an OS that still
    sucks beyond belief. Where’s that article?
    Yes it is a bit weird to describe a service charge as a tax. And I doubt Spotify will notice any uptick in premium subscribers via its website. Probably just lose most of these customers, but the extra processing in accounts for them will be done away with.

    what is the real Apple Tax is the retail premium Apple charges for product in overseas counties. In Australia it usually works out at ten percent on top before GST.
    edited July 2023 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,081member
    chasm said:
    Spotify is a fine service (that doesn’t pay its artists very well), and one that has a few advantages over Apple Music, including higher worldwide popularity.

    However, the general poor ethics of the company ensure that I will never be using their service, within our without the App Store. Apple Music pays artists nearly THREE TIMES as much money as Spotify, and often has to be taken to court to get them to cough up the money at all.

    Then there’s the whole DOH! Rogan thing. What a terrible error in judgement that was.

    So, it’s Apple Music for me until a truly better option comes along.
    That is just a statistical anomaly. Both Apple and Spotify paid subscription music streaming services, pays about the same percentage of their subscription revenue to the music industry. Neither pays the music artist on a per stream basis.  Both pays the songwriter royalty per stream, as required by copyright laws. For both, it comes to about 65-70% of the subscription revenue is paid to the music industry. (about 60% to be split among all the artists and about 10% to for the songwriters royalties.) 

    The music industry take the about 60% of subscription revenue allotted to the artists every month (by each of the streaming services) and split it among all the artists whose  songs were streamed, based on what percentage their songs were streamed out of all the songs streamed by that service, that month. If a Taylor Swift mega hit album captured 5% of all the songs streamed, she will get 5% of the revenue allotted to the all artists that month. Regardless of the numbers of streams. (And she would also get paid a per stream royalty for songs where  she is the songwriter.) No artists are paid on a per stream basis. That number is worked out after the artists receives their portion of the monthly allotted subscription revenue. The number is what the artist earned per stream not what Apple (or Spotify) paid per stream

    So if Apple and Spotify had exactly the same number of subscribers paying $9.99 a month, Apple would statistically be seen as "paying" the artists 3x more than Spotify, if Apple subscribers were streaming 3x less music than Spotify subscribers (per month). Even though both are paying the same 60% of subscription revenue to the artists.

    That said, the main reason why Spotify is seen as "paying" artists 3x less (than Apple Music) is because of their free ad supported music streaming service. Streams from that service don't pay the artists nearly as much as streams made by a paying subscribers, but gets included in the total streams per month. That is also true of Google. The vast majority of music streams are done with Google free ad supported You Tube and the artists earns way less "per stream" based on ad revenue, than from subscription revenue. But both Spotify and Google generate much more revenue for the music industry, than what Apple Music generates. But Apple "pay per stream" numbers looks much better than nearly all the other music streaming services.   

    https://pudding.cool/2022/06/streaming/
    edited July 2023 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonroundaboutnowgatorguywatto_cobragrandact73FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 16
    croprcropr Posts: 1,133member
    twolf2919 said:
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    Apple built the phone and made the rules for software to be allowed on the phone before that "53%" even existed.  People buying an iPhone agree to this bargain.  Apple isn't dictating anything to those 53% or anyone else considering an iPhone - every one of those 53% agreed to follow the rules when they purchased their iPhone.  It's called *choice*.   They had/have plenty of alternatives.

    If Apple made their rules more restrictive *after* a couple billion people bought an iPhone, you might have had a point - but, of course, that's not the case.

    Similarly, Apple also didn't force companies to bend to their rules or just lose 53% of the mobile market.  Apple came up with a smartphone and platform and let third party developers sell their software on this platform, provided they followed the rules Apple felt would make it successful  - i.e. their software needed to go through Apple's review process and only be downloaded via the AppStore (because Apple believed its customers wanted security) and, if those apps sold any digital goods, they had to do so through Apple's payment mechanism and give up 30% of the price of the item (again, because Apple thought it would benefit users to only need to give their payment information to one company - Apple - rather than have it sent to every software maker who might mishandle it).

    Spotify, Electronic Arts, and all the other whiners out there agreed to those terms when they first got onto the iPhone - because they knew it was a win-win situation for everybody.  But then they got successful and greedy and suddenly they no longer want to pay up.  They want to change the rules.

    Individuals who want to force Apple to allow downloading of apps from anywhere on the web should simply buy an Android phone instead of destroying the good thing (security wise) that Apple has built.
    Spotify does not sell software.  Spotify sells a music service.  If you buy the Spotify Premium service, you can enjoy the service on any device you own.  In fact I, personally, am listening to Spotify on a multitude of devices: a Windows PC, Macbook air,  a Linux portable (Dell XPS), an old IPad mini, an iPhone, a Lenovo tablet a Nokia Android phone, a Google Nest speaker and a Philips smart TV   The software used on these devices is free of charge and can be downloaded  without restrictions or is even pre-installed.   What is more,  Spoitify detects on which device I am listening and enables me to switch to another device seamlessly.
     
    So the main question is:   Why would Spotify give Apple a commission when the user wants to extend the Spotify Premium service via an iPhone but not via a Mac, or any other device?  I fail to see the logic.   The security argument is nothing but Apple marketing blah blah blah.  There have been no reported security issues with the Spotify payments on other platforms, nor is Spotify known to sell its customer base to 3rd parties. In fact as a European company Spotify has to strictly be GDPR compliant.  

    I do agree that for games the Apple commission is a different story.   Most games are indeed software with in app puchases.   So it is much more logic here that the game developer pays a fee for the in app puchases 

    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 16
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,081member
    cropr said:
    twolf2919 said:
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    Apple built the phone and made the rules for software to be allowed on the phone before that "53%" even existed.  People buying an iPhone agree to this bargain.  Apple isn't dictating anything to those 53% or anyone else considering an iPhone - every one of those 53% agreed to follow the rules when they purchased their iPhone.  It's called *choice*.   They had/have plenty of alternatives.

    If Apple made their rules more restrictive *after* a couple billion people bought an iPhone, you might have had a point - but, of course, that's not the case.

    Similarly, Apple also didn't force companies to bend to their rules or just lose 53% of the mobile market.  Apple came up with a smartphone and platform and let third party developers sell their software on this platform, provided they followed the rules Apple felt would make it successful  - i.e. their software needed to go through Apple's review process and only be downloaded via the AppStore (because Apple believed its customers wanted security) and, if those apps sold any digital goods, they had to do so through Apple's payment mechanism and give up 30% of the price of the item (again, because Apple thought it would benefit users to only need to give their payment information to one company - Apple - rather than have it sent to every software maker who might mishandle it).

    Spotify, Electronic Arts, and all the other whiners out there agreed to those terms when they first got onto the iPhone - because they knew it was a win-win situation for everybody.  But then they got successful and greedy and suddenly they no longer want to pay up.  They want to change the rules.

    Individuals who want to force Apple to allow downloading of apps from anywhere on the web should simply buy an Android phone instead of destroying the good thing (security wise) that Apple has built.
    Spotify does not sell software.  Spotify sells a music service.  If you buy the Spotify Premium service, you can enjoy the service on any device you own.  In fact I, personally, am listening to Spotify on a multitude of devices: a Windows PC, Macbook air,  a Linux portable (Dell XPS), an old IPad mini, an iPhone, a Lenovo tablet a Nokia Android phone, a Google Nest speaker and a Philips smart TV   The software used on these devices is free of charge and can be downloaded  without restrictions or is even pre-installed.   What is more,  Spoitify detects on which device I am listening and enables me to switch to another device seamlessly.
     
    So the main question is:   Why would Spotify give Apple a commission when the user wants to extend the Spotify Premium service via an iPhone but not via a Mac, or any other device?  I fail to see the logic.   The security argument is nothing but Apple marketing blah blah blah.  There have been no reported security issues with the Spotify payments on other platforms, nor is Spotify known to sell its customer base to 3rd parties. In fact as a European company Spotify has to strictly be GDPR compliant.  

    I do agree that for games the Apple commission is a different story.   Most games are indeed software with in app puchases.   So it is much more logic here that the game developer pays a fee for the in app puchases 


    Apple charges a commission only when a developer uses their iOS apps to make money from selling digital goods to iOS users. Those are the rules of the Apple App Store and Spotify knew this when they first developed their iOS app. A Mac uses Spotify internet website for payment. One can do the same with the browser on an iPhone and Apple will not receive a commission.  

    Maybe you should be pondering this. It seems to make logical sense to Spotify, to pay Google a commission when their premium subscribers pays with their Android app from the Google Play Store. 

    https://newsroom.spotify.com/2022-03-23/spotify-and-google-announce-user-choice-billing/

    Spotify and Google struck a deal where Google will allow Spotify to list an alternative payment method on their Android app and Spotify would receive a discount on Google's 15/30% discount if the Android customer chooses to use it to pay. The actual discount agreed upon is not made public but other developers receives a 4% (off the 15/30%) discount for the same type of deal.

    https://www.macrumors.com/2022/11/10/google-play-spotify-alternative-billing/

    And remember, Spotify do not have to use the Google Play Store to get their app on to Android devices. With android, they can open their own app store or have it so that their customers can download their app and then side load it. But they still saw fit to praise Google for striking their deal, that still requires them to give Google a commission for payment made through their app. Spotify, like Sweeney (the CEO of Epic Games) knows that being in the Google Play Store have value that is worth paying a commission for. It's about the over 85% of Android users that would not consider side loading an app or getting it from a third party app store, no matter how much they might trust Spotify (or Epic Games) with their CC info.  

    So it really doesn't matter if Apple were to allow third party app stores or side loading, Spotify would still be bitching about giving Apple a commission to be in the Apple App Store, in order to have access to the iOS customers that would never consider using another app store or side loading an app or not using their iTunes account to pay. If anything, iOS users are more particular about safety, security and privacy, than Android users.  

    And BTW- It's not that Spotify can not be trusted with personal data or might download malware into a device, if Apple were to allow side loading or third party app stores. It's that consumers can be fooled into thinking they are installing an app from Spotify (or other trusted developers) that is the concern. No matter how small the chances that an iOS user would click on a scam email link to install a Spotify app offering them a 3 month free trial of Spotify Premium when it's actually installing malware or harvesting personal data, the chances are not going to be zero.  Even if only a .05% chance, that  would still be about 1M iOS users worldwide that got phished into it.
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Thank you, @Davidw, for two excellent posts.

    It certainly seems like Spotify is complaining that Apple is not willing to give it special treatment rather than making a valid point.

    However, Apple's argument that it treats all developers the same is weakened by the treatment of Netflix and Roblox.
    edited July 2023
  • Reply 16 of 16
    omasouomasou Posts: 607member
    lam92103 said:
    Apple should not be able to dictate what over 53% of American consumers can install on their phones. They should not be able to force companies to bend to their rules or just loose 53% of the mobile market
    They don't. Nothing stopping people from purchasing an Android phone. If you don't like something, support the alternative.
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