This Monday (25), Spotify decided to raise the tone with Apple, a company with which it has had obstacles for a few years. The subject of the newest imbroglio concerns the sector that the streaming giant entered at the end of last month, that of audiobooks. “It’s past time to play fair”, says the company to the owner of the iPhones.
According to Spotify, since when it launched the audiobooks feature, Apple forbids it from explaining to users where and how to buy the titles. In addition, in the app, the company does not even list how much they cost, nor does it allow the service to send emails to users with instructions on how to acquire them.
In a statement, Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, expressed his dissatisfaction: “With the launch of our Audiobooks, Apple has once again proven how brazen it is willing to be with App Store rules, constantly shifting the crossbars to harm its customers. competitors.”
Audiobooks are available in the app, but when a user tries to buy a title, they are surprised by the warning: “Want to listen? You cannot purchase audiobooks in the app. We know it’s not ideal.” On the other hand, on Android, you can click a button and receive an email with instructions.
Fact is: if Spotify gave in and allowed the purchase of audiobooks through the app, it would have to slice 30% of the value for Apple. Wisely, the streaming giant has developed its own store where all purchases must be made, but cannot redirect users — this, of course, goes against App Store guidelines.
Spotify said it was frustrated with the impositions and had hired lawyers to make sure it followed the app store’s rules. According to Daniel Ek, since the audiobooks feature was launched, Apple would have rejected the app update “three or four times”.
What does Apple say?
wanted by The New York TimesIn a note, an Apple spokesperson said:
We have no issues with reading apps that add content from audiobooks, link users to websites to sign up for services, or communicate with customers externally about alternative purchase options.
Spotify was rejected for failing to follow guidelines on including explicit in-app communications to direct users to make digital purchases outside of the app.
We provided clear guidance on how to resolve the issue and approved the app after they made changes that brought it into compliance.
Apple and Spotify haven’t seen each other for more than five years
The fight between Spotify and Apple has lasted almost eight years and does not only concern the same markets that both companies embrace, such as music streaming and audiobooks.
The displeasure between the competitors, in fact, concerns the restrictions imposed by the Cupertino giantincluding the requirement that applications use your payment system — giving you a percentage of 30% of the transaction amount.
Spotify’s executive director made a point of recalling one of the most recent episodes of the imbroglio in the statement: “Almost four years. That’s how long it’s been since Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, and we’re still awaiting a decision.”
“While we wait, Apple continues to dictate what online innovation looks like, doing serious damage to the internet economy, stifling competition and app developers’ imaginations,” he concluded.
while presenting the latest company financial report, Ek was asked about his open stance towards Tim Cook’s company. He then said he found it “absurd” that his complaint from several years ago had not been resolved.
We want to communicate with our customers the way we choose and the way our customers are accepting to have that line of communication. We don’t want a gatekeeper or monopoly to dictate how we talk to our customers.
In 2019, it is worth remembering, Spotify created a website to explain how competition in the App Store would be being harmed. O Time To Play Fair (in free translation: “Time to Play Fair”) presents users with some arguments based on measures adopted by Apple.
With information: The New York Times