Spotify recently complained to the European Commission about the way Apple runs its App Store, and now Apple has responded by releasing what can be described as a strongly worded press release.
In the release, Apple accuses Spotify of “misleading rhetoric,” saying that Spotify wants to be able to take advantage of what the App Store has to offer without paying the 30% fee that Apple charges most developers.
The following paragraphs of the press release make for interesting reading.
At its core, the App Store is a safe, secure platform where users can have faith in the apps they discover and the transactions they make. And developers, from first-time engineers to larger companies, can rest assured that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.
That’s how it should be. We want more app businesses to thrive — including the ones that compete with some aspect of our business, because they drive us to be better.
What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.
Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.
The remainder of the release consists of Apple commenting on each of Spotify’s accusations that were listed on the Time to Play Fair website, and it’s clear Apple feels strongly that Spotify wants to have its cake and eat it too. However, with lines such as “Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem,” we’re not sure that Apple comes out of this as well as it might have liked.
Apple currently takes 30% of all of the revenue Spotify gains through the App Store, which means 30% of all Spotify subscriptions that are handled via the App Store goes into Apple’s coffers. That, apparently, is for the first year, however, with Apple keen to point out that the percentage falls to 15% after the first year.
The full press release is over on the Apple Newsroom website and is worth a read if you’re interested in seeing how music streaming heavyweights go at each other. Oh, and one happens to also own the most popular app store on the planet.
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