New York (CNN Business) Spotify is trying to give Apple a nice blow with its coverage.
The music streamer has publicly lashed out at the company, venting its frustrations against the Goliath masses of Silicon Valley over a dispute centered around the 30% App Store fee Apple charges for in-app digital service transactions.
“We’re talking about this because it fully reflects Apple’s anti-competitive practices,” said Harry Clarke, Associate General Counsel and Spotify’s chief competition attorney. told CNN in an interview Tuesday.
Here’s the backstory. spotify ( The company simply refuses to hand over a whopping 30% stake in its business to Apple. That means it can’t sell audiobooks within its iOS app, a business the company is trying to get into. Instead, Spotify has come up with three workarounds that it believes are consistent with Apple’s policy. But they were all ultimately rejected after being reviewed by the App Store, effectively forcing the company to give up on offering customers a way to buy audiobooks through its iOS app. )
A version of this article first appeared in the newsletter Reliable Sources. Subscribe here for daily digests documenting the evolving media landscape.
For anyone looking to buy a book, the effect is clear. iOS users scrolling through Spotify’s audiobook library and tapping a selection sees the message ‘Would you like to listen? You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. will be (Of course, Apple also sells audiobooks through preinstalled Apple Books.)
Spotify has no practical way to force Apple to accept apps with audiobook workarounds, but it has used the skirmish to attack Apple in the media and sell the company’s 30, which streamers have long criticized. We are focusing our attention on the 100% in-app tax. others. In the last few days, Spotify released a slamming press release and joined a lengthy article with The New York Times on the subject.
Asked why Spotify is making so much noise about the issue, Clark said, “I think it’s important for users, policymakers and competition authorities to really understand what’s going on.” explained. “Because we found that once they understood what was going on, they almost unanimously agreed that it was unfair.”
Clark said it was important for the company to bring the issue to the press, as Spotify users may not understand why the audiobook experience in the iOS app is so annoying. “One of the problems with Apple’s rules is that they’ve effectively put a gag order against talking about this in the app,” Clark said, adding that many users weren’t satisfied with the company’s back-and-forth. He added that he was “unaware” that It was a relationship with Apple.
Apple did not directly engage in a PR campaign against the company against Spotify. The company told CNN, citing a general statement about the controversy, in which it said, “There’s nothing wrong with reader apps adding audiobook content,” but Spotify’s workaround, namely the in-app purchase method. said it was against the rules.
Spotify’s public war on Apple is part of a larger recent trend in which other Big Tech companies are targeting iPhone makers. Mark Zuckerberg recently criticized Apple’s iMessage security features, claiming his WhatsApp is more secure. And Google has accused Apple of refusing to cooperate with Android in sending text messages.
And this kind of pressure campaign is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Spotify said it will continue to publicly pressure Apple on the matter. “We will continue to escalate this issue to help people understand the negative impact Apple’s policies are having,” Clark said.