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 four fast facts that show Apple doesn’t play fair:



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 Apple Music pay it? No. Does Uber pay it? No. Deliveroo? No. Apple does not compete with Uber and Deliveroo. But in music streaming, Apple gives the advantage to their own services.


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 turn, 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 99¢ for three months of Spotify Premium. And we’re not just talking about the app. Worse yet, they often block us from emailing after you register your account, claiming we are circumventing their rules.


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 the 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 users that, or point them in the right direction. You have to figure it out all on your own.


Apple Doesn’t Allow You To Purchase an Audiobook within the App:

Users should be able to complete an audiobook purchase in a single click. We’re pretty confident you want it this way, too. Unfortunately, Apple sees things differently and, similar to with the Premium experience, iOS users must take the multiple steps of going to a browser or desktop. And we aren’t even able to tell users where to go or how to navigate this convoluted process. But this isn’t the case for audiobooks on the Apple Books app.


Apple Rejects Our App Enhancements:

We love making improvements and introducing new features to Spotify. But where Apple thinks our app doesn’t abide by their unilaterally imposed restrictions, they routinely reject our 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 subpar. Nothing could be further from the truth. And of course Apple never puts any obstacles in front of their own Apple Music app.

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.