Five Fast Facts

Facts that show Apple doesn’t play fair

The Apple App Store….a platform that houses some of the world’s greatest and most innovative apps, all in the palm of your hand. Truth be told, at Spotify, we are big fans of Apple. You will find their hardware across our offices, in the hands of thousands of our employees. We also love having the opportunity to be on a platform where we can offer our services to millions of our fans around the world. But Apple makes it harder and harder for companies like Spotify to bring the best we have to offer to our fans — all for the sake of tilting the field to favor its own services and disadvantaging those it is playing against. Here are five fast facts that show Apple doesn’t play fair:


 

01

Apple Charges a Discriminatory Tax:

Apple requires that certain apps pay a 30% fee for use of their in-app purchase system (IAP). However, the reality is that the rules are not applied evenly across the board. Does Uber pay it? No. Deliveroo? No. Does Apple Music pay it? No. Apple does not compete with Uber and Deliveroo. But in music streaming Apple gives the advantage to its own services.

02

Apple Won’t Let Us Share Spotify Deals We Know You’d Love:

If we choose not to use IAP (the only payment option on iOS), Apple, in return, bars us from communicating directly with our customers who access Spotify via Apple platforms. Apple won’t let us share awesome deals and promotions — like 99c for three months of Spotify Premium. And we aren’t just talking about what we are allowed to do on the app. Worse yet, they often block us from emailing after you register your account, claiming we are circumventing their rules.

03

Apple Doesn’t Allow You to Upgrade to Spotify Premium With Ease:

If users want to upgrade from our Free service to Premium, great, we’d love to have them! But Apple bars us from offering that option in our app, instead, forcing users to take multiple steps of going to a browser or desktop. Some of our users don’t even have a desktop. And to top it off, we can’t even tell them that or point them in the right direction. You have to figure it out all on your own.

04

Apple Rejects Our App Enhancements:

We love making improvements and introducing new features to Spotify. But where Apple thinks that our app doesn’t abide by their unilaterally imposed restrictions, it routinely rejects bug fixes and app enhancements that would improve user experience and the app’s functionality – leading fans to believe our app and tech abilities are sub par. Nothing could be further from the truth. And of course Apple never puts any obstacles in front of its own Apple Music app.

05

Apple Won’t Let You Access Spotify on All Your Devices:

We are all about ubiquity (being there for you wherever and whenever you want). And Spotify is lucky to be available for fans around the world on nearly every other speaker – except for Apple’s. Only recently, Apple announced that it will let us connect with Siri to play your jams…but fails to mention our name (“I want to play [X] on Spotify”) and your HomePod will default to Apple Music. And don’t forget about the Apple Watch. We were ready to be on devices months before Apple would even give us a shot – limiting your experience and choice. Of course, you can play Apple Music though.


These rules Apple unilaterally imposes exist for one reason only: to give Apple an unfair advantage over the many other services that are working hard to compete for fans. For competition to work and innovation to thrive, Apple needs to play fair. To see how this has played out over time, check out our timeline here.