Spotify, launched a year after Apple unveiled its first iPhone in 2007, said on Wednesday the company unfairly limits rivals to its own music streaming service.
Apple’s control of its App Store deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of Apple Music, which began in 2015, Spotify added.
In response, Apple said it had approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app.
“The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows,” Apple said in a statement. “Spotify is free to build apps for – and compete on – our products and platforms, and we hope they do”
Apple also claimed that Spotify was misrepresenting the App Store commissions. While it does take a 30% commission on in-app subscription purchases, the commission drops to 15% in the years after, it noted.
Further, the tech giant said that majority of Spotify’s customers are using their free, ad-supported product or coming through partnerships with mobile carriers “Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model. Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.” it said. That said, Apple didn’t mention its own competing product Apple Music in the entire statement.
On Spotify’s allegations that Apple had declined to let the service launch an app on its smartwatch or Siri would not let iPhone users play music from the service, the Cupertino giant noted that they have reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, however the service said they were working on it and “we stand ready to help them where we can.”
“When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category” the company said in a statement. Spotify was not immediately available to comment on Apple’s response.
(With inputs from Reuters)