ANYBODY WHO THOUGHT APPLE would take Spotify's anticompetitive complaint lying down clearly doesn't know Apple. Today the company has shot back, basically saying that Spotify just lives to make money off others work.
It's an interesting criticism for the company that brought us iTunes, the App Store and Apple TV to make, but there we are. The gloves are off.
"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," Apple wrote in a lengthy post on its newsroom.
"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," the post continued.
Yeah, fine: but Spotify never forced anyone to listen to a U2 album, did they?
After kicking Spotify a bit for its business practices, Apple moves on to deal directly with some of its specific complaints. No, it never blocked Spotify support from Siri or HomePod, it claims, stating it reached out to Spotify about AirPlay 2 support "on several occasions". And it claims it reviewed and approved Spotify's Apple Watch app with "the same process and speed with which we would any other app." Indeed, it's the most popular app in the Watch's (probably not very competitive) music category.
Its response to the 30% paid app tax, Apple is considerably less convincing. It points out that the 30% figure only applies to the first year, after which it halves. Secondly, Apple says that most people use the free version, so they see nothing and a whole bunch of users get it paid for via mobile carrier partners. Ultimately, it claims, only a "tiny fraction" are eligible for the 30% rate.
"Let's be clear about what that means," the company wrote. "Apple connects Spotify to our users. We provide the platform by which users download and update their app. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify's app building. And we built a secure payment system — no small undertaking — which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 per cent of the revenue."
Strap in folks: this one looks like it will run and run. µ
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