Skip to main content

Spotify says Apple is ‘choking competition’ and ruining its audiobook store

Spotify’s logo
Nick Barclay / The Verge

Spotify says Apple is making it harder to sell audiobooks, an offering Spotify just introduced last month. The company called Apple practices “anticompetitive” and said it was “choking competition” in a blog post published just before the company revealed its earnings report on Tuesday.

Spotify says Apple’s rules make the process of buying an audiobook on Spotify “far too complicated and confusing,” adding that Apple changes its “rules arbitrarily, making them impossible to interpret.” Apple charges up to a 30 percent commission on purchases made in apps listed on the App Store, and bars certain developers from using or directing users to an external payment processor.

As outlined in a webpage Spotify specifically made to support its cause, the company says Apple rejected its proposed audiobook purchasing process three times because it went against the App Store’s policies. To comply with Apple’s rules, Spotify hides the price of its audiobooks and doesn’t let users buy content in the app. Instead, you select the book you want to buy and Spotify then emails you a link to check out on the web.

This makes it harder to compare prices, which you only find out about through the email. Spotify says this process “harms not only consumers, but, this time, also authors and publishers who now find themselves under Apple’s thumb.” As my colleague Ariel Shapiro pointed out in an edition of Hot Pod Insider, the process of purchasing an audiobook “is not the most elegant.”

This isn’t the first time Spotify has called out Apple. In 2019, the music streaming company filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe, claiming the company is harming consumer choice by imposing its 30 percent “Apple tax.”

“In the absence of government intervention — in Europe, the U.S., or any other market around the world — Apple has shown time and again that it will not self-regulate and has no real incentive to change,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement today. “With our Audiobooks launch, Apple has once again proven just how brazen it is willing to be with its App Store rules, constantly shifting the goalposts to disadvantage their competitors.”

While Spotify could make purchasing audiobooks easier by using Apple’s in-app purchase system, this would subject each purchase to the up to 30 percent commission Apple charges. It would also make it more difficult for Spotify to compete with Apple Books. Apple didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.



Source: The Verge

Popular posts from this blog

iOS 14 Favorites Widget: How to Make a Replacement With Shortcuts

In iOS 14 , Apple overhauled widgets and introduced an option for adding ‌widgets‌ to the Home Screen , but in the process, a well-loved Favorites widget that existed in iOS 13 was removed. The Favorites widget let users set certain contacts and contact methods as favorites that were easily accessible, so you could, for example, add a favorite option for messaging Eric or calling Dan, with those actions executed with a tap. Why the Favorites widget was removed is a mystery and it could be a simple oversight with Apple planning to reintroduce it later, but for now, those who relied on the widget can recreate its functionality with Shortcuts. It takes some effort, but it may be worth the time investment if you often relied on your Favorites. Creating a Favorites Shortcut Making a shortcut that replicates the behavior of the Favorites widget isn't too tough, but if you want multiple favorite options, you'll need to create a separate shortcut for each one in the Shortcuts

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Apple Adds Support for Live Activities to Shazam

Apple today added support for Live Activities in Shazam, its free music discovery and identification app. Shazam's Live Activities keep the user updated when searching for music in the background, which is particularly useful when multitasking or identifying songs in other apps . The last significant update to Shazam arrived in January, allowing users to identify songs from other apps while listening with headphones. Apple acquired Shazam in 2018, and has been gradually bringing the app into closer alignment with ‌ Apple Music ‌ ever since, offering trials to the streaming service through the app and the ability to sync Shazams directly to ‌‌Apple Music‌‌. Shazam can be downloaded from the App Store for free . It can be accessed through the Control Center on ‌‌ iPhone ‌‌ and ‌‌ iPad ‌‌, through ‌ Siri ‌ commands, or on the Mac, as well as via widgets. Version 17.11 of Shazam is now available. Apple opened up its Live Activities API to third-party ‌iPhone‌ apps with the r

Review: Anker's Latest 3-in-1 Power Bank is a Versatile On-the-Go Powerhouse

Popular accessory brand Anker has just launched a new 10K version of its 3-in-1 power bank that offers up to 30 watts of charging power, a convenient display to quickly view exact charge status, an integrated USB-C cable for both input and output, and built-in folding prongs to recharge directly from a power outlet. I've recently been testing one of these Anker power banks out, and it has become a must-have accessory for my gear bag. Competitively priced at $44.99, the 10,000 mAh capacity means I can charge up my iPhone 15 Pro Max more than one and a half times while on the go, which is plenty for a long day out or even a weekend trip where easy access to power might be iffy. And the 30-watt charging speed means it'll charge my devices up quickly, meaning spending less time with my phone awkwardly tethered to a power bank while I'm out and about. A quick charge during a lunch or dinner is more than enough to keep my iPhone topped off for the remainder of the day. Th