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APPLE FIRES BACK
AT SPOTIFY

Apple and Spotify have taken off the gloves as the giants of digital music duke it out over recent legal and governmental actions. Their choice of weapon? Blog posts.

Spotify went after Apple this week by declaring to the European Commission that the App Store rules are “unfair.” Apple followed suit by saying Spotify wouldn’t be where it is today without the Cuppertino crew’s help and then laid into Daniel Ek’s company for its appeal of the recent ruling that raised songwriters’ royalties.  

In an 1,100 word blog post, Apple writes, “Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.”

Apple rolled out the data—the company has approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300m downloaded copies of the Spotify app. Of the apps in the App Store, 84% pay nothing to Apple; anything purchased inside the app is 30% for the first year of an annual subscription and 15% after that.

“Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model,” Apple writes. “Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.

“Let’s be clear about what that means. 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.

“Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong.”

Apple was responding to Ek’s blog post where he asked that:

“Apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions—including Apple Music.

“Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems, and not be “locked in” or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple’s.

“App stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.”

Irving Azoff left no doubt which team he was backing in a recent tweet.

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