Editorial: After disrupting iTunes, Spotify demands a free ride from Apple's App Store

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 68
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,646member
    One solution for Spotify is for Elizabeth Warren to get elected, who will nationalize iOS, then make it more free and open for all competitors.
    kruegdude
  • Reply 42 of 68
    cropr said:
    dkhaley said:
    From my perspective, it should be a hard case for Spotify to win.
    1. Spotify has other distribution methods (i.e. a customer can sign up on their website and then download the app)
    2. Spotify chooses to use Apple's App Store as one of its distribution methods
    3. Apple gives Spotify the same terms as everybody else
    Of course, the EC can be a little crazy with their antitrust decisions.

    Your point 3 is just wrong.  Apple Music has clearly different terms then Spotify.  In fact it is the main reason why Spotify is going to the EU commission

    I estimate that Spotify will not necessarily win, but that Apple will definitely loose.  Meaning, the EU commission will look very carefully at the App Store guidelines and will take measures that Apple won't like, but that won't necessarily benefit Spotify in the short term.  
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    You are aware that without apples App Store you would likely not have the opportunity to be a mobile app developer in the first place right? You optionally choose to sell in the App Store so you play be the rules, if they change well sometimes life is tough and you are free to peddle your killer app elsewhere. I here the Google play store has less stringent rules, perhaps just develop and sell their since they have the larger amount of market share.
    kiltedgreenLordeHawkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 68
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 310member
    tylersdad said:
    I can see having to pay Apple to use the infrastructure for the app store. Each download from the app store and the maintenance of the app store costs Apple money. But Spotify delivers its service over their own infrastructure. Why should Apple get any of that? It costs them nothing, but yet they want 30% of the service cost? 

    Seems unreasonable to me. They want something for nothing. 
    It costs Spotify nothing if a user signs up for their service via their website or other means then downloads the app from the App Store and signs into their account. Apple only takes a cut when a potential user downloads the app and then subscribes to it via the App Store. In this instance value is added in several ways:

    1) Payment processing through a trusted source with clear policies that allow one to cancel service easily should the desire arise. I trust Apple, don’t necessarily trust Spotify, there is tremendous value in having a customer base that trusts you with their credit card data to process payments, just ask Amazon.

    2) Apps hosted on Apple’s App Store comply with a certain set of guidelines that ensure privacy and security. Spotify and other constantly update their apps, and so it must be review each time to ensure they are still complying with the guidelines. Is it perfect, no. Does it provide value such that I would not entertain obtaining a version elsewhere, definitely.

    There is no basis for monopoly/Anti competition claims here. A Spotify user can subscribe many different ways. IOS has no where close to a monopoly portion of market share in either phone (IOS vs Android) or streaming music (Apple Music vs Spotify). 
    1) Actually, it does cost Spotify to allow users to sign up through their website. They have to pay credit card processing fees...typically between 1.5 - 3%. So how much does Apple charge Spotify to process payments? 

    2) This is one of the big issues many developers have. The only way to deploy apps is through the App Store. That means you have to give Apple part of your profits. You also have to adhere to Apple's draconian policies with regard to what does/doesn't get listed in the App Store. I'm sure a lot of developers would rather not have to go through this and would support a 3rd party app store. 
  • Reply 44 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    cropr said:
    dkhaley said:
    From my perspective, it should be a hard case for Spotify to win.
    1. Spotify has other distribution methods (i.e. a customer can sign up on their website and then download the app)
    2. Spotify chooses to use Apple's App Store as one of its distribution methods
    3. Apple gives Spotify the same terms as everybody else
    Of course, the EC can be a little crazy with their antitrust decisions.

    Your point 3 is just wrong.  Apple Music has clearly different terms then Spotify.  In fact it is the main reason why Spotify is going to the EU commission

    I estimate that Spotify will not necessarily win, but that Apple will definitely loose.  Meaning, the EU commission will look very carefully at the App Store guidelines and will take measures that Apple won't like, but that won't necessarily benefit Spotify in the short term.  
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    You are aware that without apples App Store you would likely not have the opportunity to be a mobile app developer in the first place right? You optionally choose to sell in the App Store so you play be the rules, if they change well sometimes life is tough and you are free to peddle your killer app elsewhere. I here the Google play store has less stringent rules, perhaps just develop and sell their since they have the larger amount of market share.
    https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy/#!?modal_active=none

    FWIW while Google Play also takes a 30% cut of developer sales and the rules are pretty similar to the App Store overall Spotify is not (yet) making the same formal complaint The reason  "according to company sources" is because the Play Store allows developers to link to the developer's own site for subscriptions within the app. Apple reportedly does not allow it.
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 45 of 68
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,962member
    StrangeDays said: Retailers such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and every big grocery charge product manufacturers "rent" for access to their store shelves, known as "slotting fees". They do not charge this rent to their own in-house brands, which are often clones of name-brands, but cheaper. Where is the moral outrage? Doesn't exist. It's just a cost of doing business.
    That's all true, but selling software in a digital store isn't really an exact parallel to selling physical goods in a brick/mortar retail store. For one thing, the "platform" for physical goods from a brick/mortar store is really the town you live in, not the stores themselves. Live in a larger town and you've got more choice for brick/mortar purchasing. Live in a smaller town and you've got less. If you live in the United States, your choice in the App Store is always the same regardless of what town you're in. I'm not trying to argue in favor of Spotify per se, but the expansiveness and monolithic nature of digital stores does deserve scrutiny from government. It's all a relatively new dynamic within global economies.
    None of what you said suggests to me there is any difference in the claim being made -- that it is unfair for a proprietor to not have to pay rent/fees on in-house goods when outside brands do. Sure, "not fair", but still doesn't sound criminal. In-house brands, bakeries, etc, are all able to operate and sell cheaper than outside vendors. That's why they do it. Has always been this way.
    edited March 2019 radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 68
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,338member
    dipdog3 said:
    While allowing apps to direct users to their own website for payment might seem fair. It would invite a whole host of security and payment issues that would be outside of Apple’s control, but Apple would still get the blame for them.
    One thing that fails to get mentioned with the Apple "Tax" is developers or content providers putting the charge back on the customer.  A YouTube Red subscription is $12.99 USD a month if you pay through Apple, or $9.99 a month if you pay Google directly.

    Once I found out the difference in price I cancelled my subscription with Apple and set up payment to Google monthly via Paypal. It wasn't worth $36.00 additional per year to have the extra minor convenience of paying through Apple.

    I think that if content providers and developers were up front with putting the cost back on the customer rather than eating it, I think some folks here would be singing a bit of a different tune. If we don't have to deal with the extra cost it's easier to say "oh developers should be ok with this because it takes XYZ dollars to build and maintain the App store, infrastructure etc..". Put the cost back on us and we begin to think about things a bit differently. 

    Just a thought and my 2c.. 
  • Reply 47 of 68
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,338member
    cropr said:
    dkhaley said:
    From my perspective, it should be a hard case for Spotify to win.
    1. Spotify has other distribution methods (i.e. a customer can sign up on their website and then download the app)
    2. Spotify chooses to use Apple's App Store as one of its distribution methods
    3. Apple gives Spotify the same terms as everybody else
    Of course, the EC can be a little crazy with their antitrust decisions.

    Your point 3 is just wrong.  Apple Music has clearly different terms then Spotify.  In fact it is the main reason why Spotify is going to the EU commission

    I estimate that Spotify will not necessarily win, but that Apple will definitely loose.  Meaning, the EU commission will look very carefully at the App Store guidelines and will take measures that Apple won't like, but that won't necessarily benefit Spotify in the short term.  
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    I am confused how rules within a store owned by Apple can be anti competitive? It's not like it's a 3rd party store and Apple is influencing charges and rules. Do developers sign a contract that forces them to deal with Apple's rules for a certain amount of time if they have an app in the store?  I am asking because I honestly don't know?
    radarthekat
  • Reply 48 of 68
    croprcropr Posts: 1,133member
    cropr said:
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    You are aware that without apples App Store you would likely not have the opportunity to be a mobile app developer in the first place right? You optionally choose to sell in the App Store so you play be the rules, if they change well sometimes life is tough and you are free to peddle your killer app elsewhere. I here the Google play store has less stringent rules, perhaps just develop and sell their since they have the larger amount of market share.
    You are assuming a lot.  I am not just an mobile app developer, I am a cloud service developer.  My iOS apps are clients to access the cloud services, like the Android apps and the web-based apps are clients for the cloud services.   If the iPhone would not be successful, I would not develop the iOS app.  The iPhone app as such does not really create additional revenue for me, but I don't want my customers be deprived of a native iOS client.  I assume that Spotify is roughly in the same situation

    You are underestimating what a PITA Apple can be for the app developers.  An existing app of me was suddenly rejected because Apple changed its interpretation of the App Store guidelines.  It costed me around $15K to make a workaround, which was a serious hit for the profitability of my company.
  • Reply 49 of 68
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,264member
    Your argument is that because the App Store cost Apple money to set up and continue to operate that third party app developers like Spotify should not complain about paying for it. I think you are missing the point. Both users and developers would benefit if there were competing app stores that Apple did not operate. Sure you would have to give up some security in order to use a third party app store but perhaps that is a choice people would like to have. You may choose to retain maximum security and pay Apple's 30% fee for apps and services. I may choose less security in order to gain the freedom to access a much broader spectrum of apps that allow me to do things that are currently restricted on the App Store. Perhaps I have one iPhone that I keep secure and another iPhone or iPad that I keep no personal data on but I use to scan my local network (something Apple recently shut down via its SDK).
    Go use android them. Apple does not have a monopoly on devices.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 68
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 1,078member
    It should be as simple as this:

    (1) Consumers decide whether to buy iPhones (and other iOS devices) or not. In deciding to buy iPhones, they're deciding either that they want to only be able or are willing to accept only being able, except under limited circumstances, to load additional apps on their iPhones through the App Store. That is their decision to make and they are free - all things being considered - to make it or to make a different decision.

    (2) Developers decide whether they wish to use Apple's IP in developing apps and Apple's App Store in distributing them to iPhone users. Apple lets them do that, nearly for free. Developers also decide whether they want to, instead of making them free, charge for the apps which they distribute through the App Store. Further, they decide whether they want to sell digital goods (rather than, e.g., just provide access to digital goods which they sell elsewhere) through the apps which they distribute through the App Store. In deciding to do any of those things, developers have to follow Apple's policies and under some circumstances pay Apple for the support which it provides and the opportunity to sell through its App Store.


    But government, as is the case with many institutions and other kinds of entities, seeks to justify its existence. And, often enough, it does that by governing to an extent which many of us think is improper and which is, in many cases, counter productive. By its nature it seeks to grow and play an ever increasing role in the lives of the people who gave it form. So... unfortunately... this situation isn't as simple as the above and as it should be.

    Developers don't have to develop apps for iOS. They do so, in most cases I would think, because they see some net benefit in doing so. They aren't - or shouldn't be considered to be - entitled to do so and to do so on terms which they prefer. Apple decides to let them just as they decide to develop for iOS. They provide substantial benefits for Apple and Apple provides substantial benefits for them. Apple already lets them do a lot without asking to be paid for allowing them to. Developers can, in some circumstances, have much greater access to customers and generate much greater revenue because of their ability to develop for iOS, without Apple getting any payment from them other than a modest annual developer program fee. It's a heck of a deal for developers and Apple, hopefully, benefits in other ways. It's only when developers want to do particular things that Apple wants a share. If being able to do those things is worth the share developers have to give up, then developers can do them. If it isn't, then so be it. But it isn't like Apple is taking something from them. It just isn't giving them as much, for free, as they might want.

    Apple has spent a lot of money and taken considerable risks in developing iOS and associated functionality. It has built a huge customer base which developers can, through its App Store, gain access to. (They can also access some of those customers other than through the platform which Apple has built.) It is not at all unreasonable for Apple to enforce App Store rules which some developers might not like and to demand a share of the revenue which they generate through the App Store or some kinds of revenue which they generate through apps distributed through the App Store. And If customers aren't happy with only being able to load apps through the App Store, they can refuse to buy iPhones. If enough would-be iPhone customers feel that way, they can force Apple's hand on the issue. There isn't a need for more government regulation here. But, alas, we'll probably get more.
    LordeHawkradarthekat
  • Reply 51 of 68
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,549member
    Thank you. This is a very nicely formed and logically coherent treatise that clearly exposes the fraudulent premise behind Spotify's self-serving attacks on Apple's hard-earned application and content ecosystem. Again, Spotify has yet to prove that it is capable of creating anything of value. Their house of cards will soon topple.
    Dan_Dilgerradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 68

    Yes, customers can always go to Spotify's website to subscribe, but that's always going to leave Spotify in a disadvantageous position relative to Apple Music. 
    Yeah man, that's business (and life) -- finding oneself in a disadvantageous position, and trying to build a more advantageous one. It won't always be "fair", but as long it's legal that's OK.

    Do you think Nyquil thinks it's "fair" for Target to sell a generic in-house brand they copied, stuck right next to theirs on the shelf, without paying the slotting fees to be there? But they know that's just tough bananas. 
    I didn't make any value judgments, I only said that the analogy wasn't really capturing the situation. 
  • Reply 53 of 68
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,447member
    Your argument is that because the App Store cost Apple money to set up and continue to operate that third party app developers like Spotify should not complain about paying for it. I think you are missing the point. Both users and developers would benefit if there were competing app stores that Apple did not operate. Sure you would have to give up some security in order to use a third party app store but perhaps that is a choice people would like to have. You may choose to retain maximum security and pay Apple's 30% fee for apps and services. I may choose less security in order to gain the freedom to access a much broader spectrum of apps that allow me to do things that are currently restricted on the App Store. Perhaps I have one iPhone that I keep secure and another iPhone or iPad that I keep no personal data on but I use to scan my local network (something Apple recently shut down via its SDK).
    Unmonitored, unregulated 3rd party iOS app stores to feed your iPhone with malware and other security nightmares? Never going to happen.

    What part of the SDK are you referring to? I can still scan my local network in Fing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 68
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,584member
    normm said:
    I think it's short sighted for Apple to not have a tiered cut for subscriptions and digital media purchases.  If they charge so much that large entities don't offer in-app purchase at all, then this hurts both Apple revenues and customer convenience.  It's a pain in the butt that I can't just buy a book on the Kindle App.

    I also think there's an issue here similar to net neutrality.  If you have a sufficiently dominant platform, you shouldn't be able to favor your own content (e.g., Book App versus Kindle App).  The history is irrelevant.

    But Apple isn't favoring its own apps by suppressing competitors. Spotify's claim is that Apple isn't "paying itself" to use the store, but Apple is paying to run the store, so that's a nonsense argument. 

    If you sell things on Amazon, the company can sell a knockoff white label version of your products. Is that wrong? Every store has its own brand that it sells against third-party brand names. Nothing wrong with that. The issue could be whether Spotify is getting pushed out in the use of Apple APIs (like AirPlay 2) or hardware (Apple Watch and HomePod). Yet Apple clarified today that's not even true.

    Spotify just wants a free ride on Apple's App Store subscription platform.  
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 68
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    corrections said:

    If you sell things on Amazon, the company can sell a knockoff white label version of your products. Is that wrong? Every store has its own brand that it sells against third-party brand names. Nothing wrong with that. 
    You've never railed against knock-off products, right?

    I think a lot of people think there is something wrong with that.
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 56 of 68
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,902member
    cropr said:
    dkhaley said:
    From my perspective, it should be a hard case for Spotify to win.
    1. Spotify has other distribution methods (i.e. a customer can sign up on their website and then download the app)
    2. Spotify chooses to use Apple's App Store as one of its distribution methods
    3. Apple gives Spotify the same terms as everybody else
    Of course, the EC can be a little crazy with their antitrust decisions.

    Your point 3 is just wrong.  Apple Music has clearly different terms then Spotify.  In fact it is the main reason why Spotify is going to the EU commission

    I estimate that Spotify will not necessarily win, but that Apple will definitely loose.  Meaning, the EU commission will look very carefully at the App Store guidelines and will take measures that Apple won't like, but that won't necessarily benefit Spotify in the short term.  
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    You are aware that without apples App Store you would likely not have the opportunity to be a mobile app developer in the first place right? You optionally choose to sell in the App Store so you play be the rules, if they change well sometimes life is tough and you are free to peddle your killer app elsewhere. I here the Google play store has less stringent rules, perhaps just develop and sell their since they have the larger amount of market share.
    The 'optionally choose to sell in the App Store' doesn't really tell the whole story and misses the most important aspect.

    There is no alternative to the Apple App Store, so providing apps for iOS means using that App Store and that is where the 'optional' part comes in. It boils down to providing an app for iOS or not. 

    The argument of some is that doesn't represent choice at all.

    If the EU decides to investigate, this is one of the issues that will be looked at.

    Providing the platform, taking a cut and competing directly in the process, will probably be frowned upon.
  • Reply 57 of 68
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,878moderator
    Your argument is that because the App Store cost Apple money to set up and continue to operate that third party app developers like Spotify should not complain about paying for it. I think you are missing the point. Both users and developers would benefit if there were competing app stores that Apple did not operate. Sure you would have to give up some security in order to use a third party app store but perhaps that is a choice people would like to have. You may choose to retain maximum security and pay Apple's 30% fee for apps and services. I may choose less security in order to gain the freedom to access a much broader spectrum of apps that allow me to do things that are currently restricted on the App Store. Perhaps I have one iPhone that I keep secure and another iPhone or iPad that I keep no personal data on but I use to scan my local network (something Apple recently shut down via its SDK).
    What you describe already exists.  
  • Reply 58 of 68
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,878moderator
    I think the mall analogy is a bit off. It's more like if one company owned 50% of the malls in the entire US, and then started it's own stores while jacking up the rent on competing stores. 

    Yes, customers can always go to Spotify's website to subscribe, but that's always going to leave Spotify in a disadvantageous position relative to Apple Music. 
    How about if one company owned 16% of the malls? You still gonnna make your argument?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 59 of 68
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,878moderator
    gatorguy said:
    cropr said:
    dkhaley said:
    From my perspective, it should be a hard case for Spotify to win.
    1. Spotify has other distribution methods (i.e. a customer can sign up on their website and then download the app)
    2. Spotify chooses to use Apple's App Store as one of its distribution methods
    3. Apple gives Spotify the same terms as everybody else
    Of course, the EC can be a little crazy with their antitrust decisions.

    Your point 3 is just wrong.  Apple Music has clearly different terms then Spotify.  In fact it is the main reason why Spotify is going to the EU commission

    I estimate that Spotify will not necessarily win, but that Apple will definitely loose.  Meaning, the EU commission will look very carefully at the App Store guidelines and will take measures that Apple won't like, but that won't necessarily benefit Spotify in the short term.  
     
    From an app developer point of view - I am an app developer - , the App Store guidelines are business wise a nightmare.  All the risks are at your side.  There are numerous cases where Apple changed the App Store guidelines or changed its interpretation of the guidelines to make the life of an app developer very difficult, especially if the app developer is competing against an Apple app.  And if the app developer wants to complain, Apple is judge and involved party. Because the app developer is forced to follow the App Store guidelines if he want to reach an iOS customer, the whole set up smells like anti-competitive behaviour.  The EU commission does not like that at all.
    You are aware that without apples App Store you would likely not have the opportunity to be a mobile app developer in the first place right? You optionally choose to sell in the App Store so you play be the rules, if they change well sometimes life is tough and you are free to peddle your killer app elsewhere. I here the Google play store has less stringent rules, perhaps just develop and sell their since they have the larger amount of market share.
    https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy/#!?modal_active=none

    FWIW while Google Play also takes a 30% cut of developer sales and the rules are pretty similar to the App Store overall Spotify is not (yet) making the same formal complaint The reason  "according to company sources" is because the Play Store allows developers to link to the developer's own site for subscriptions within the app. Apple reportedly does not allow it.
    And there you go... Spotify has a competive market it can play in if it doesn’t like the Apple way.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 60 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    I think the mall analogy is a bit off. It's more like if one company owned 50% of the malls in the entire US, and then started it's own stores while jacking up the rent on competing stores. 

    Yes, customers can always go to Spotify's website to subscribe, but that's always going to leave Spotify in a disadvantageous position relative to Apple Music. 
    How about if one company owned 16% of the malls? You still gonnna make your argument?  
    Or would Apple ever agree to pay any mall 30% of their Apple Store revenues? No, they'd go to a different mall to sell their gear.
    Oh, wait....
    avon b7
Sign In or Register to comment.