Spotify and other music streaming services are claiming Apple’s App Store policies are preventing them from competing with Apple’s homegrown iTunes and Beats Music services.
The issue, according to industry sources for The Verge, is the 30 percent cut Apple takes from all App Store purchases, including in-app transactions. In the case of Spotify, the company has to charge $13 a month for a Premium subscription bought through its iOS app to make the same amount of money it does from a $10 fee elsewhere. App Store rules further prevent apps from linking to external storefronts.
Apple is also making moves to venture deeper into the streaming service world, with iTunes Radio and Beats Music. Both services would benefit from reduced competition on Apple’s App Store.
“They control iOS to give themselves a price advantage,” one of the sources said. “Thirty percent doesn’t go to any artist, it doesn’t go to us, it goes to Apple.”
Arguments such as the one the music streaming services are making have been around since Apple first began allowing in-app subscriptions. The early complaints were mostly from Magazines and newspapers. While some went along to get along and coughed up the percentage to Apple, others look to get customers to sign up on the web, and then login to their iOS app to unlock subscription content.
Apple seems to have its crosshairs firmly on Spotify, as a report earlier this week claimed the federal government is looking into claims that Apple is pushing record labels to pressure Spotify into dropping its free tier, giving Apple an edge when it debuts its rumored new service.