The ongoing battle between Spotify and Apple seems to be at its peak. Spotify has accused Apple of causing “grave harm” to its business model by rejecting an update to the service’s mobile streaming application. The company believes that Apple wants to “exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS”. However, the iPhone maker also has something to say.
In a letter to Apple’s rival lawyer Horacio Gutierrez, Apple’s legal head Bruce Sewell says the company is disappointed by the public attacks by Spotify. According to Sewell, Spotify’s accusation of the App Store policies are unreasonable and he refuses that any developer should be excluded from the official rules. He also points out that Apple is taking a 15 percent cut from customers who have subscribed to a service more than a year, instead of a 30 percent cut.
There can be no doubt that Spotify has benefited enormously from its association with Apple’s App Store. Since joining the App Store in 2009, Apple’s platform has provided you with over 160 million downloads of your app, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue to Spotify. That’s why we find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service.
Interestingly enough, Sewell also revealed the detailed about the questionable rejection of the newest update of Spotify’s app. He said that a new version of the app incorporated the same sign-up feature asking for customer email addresses to be used to invite customers to sign-up for a subscription on the web, which Apple rejected.
That feature exists only for the purpose of avoiding to having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website. A clear violation of the terms every other developer adheres to.
It will be interesting to see what kind of response Spotify will have to these accusations.