Spotify has come out swinging – again – against Apple and its approach to subscription services on its iOS platform.
While both services have been growing their number of subscribers rapidly over the last year, Spotify remains angry about Apple’s 30% cut of in-app subscriptions on iOS, and its rules barring companies from promoting cheaper options for users who sign up directly on their websites.
Spotify’s global head of comms and public policy Jonathan Prince didn’t hold back in his latest comments yesterday.
“Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri,” Prince told Recode.
“You know there’s something wrong when Apple makes more off a Spotify subscription than it does off an Apple Music subscription and doesn’t share any of that with the music industry. They want to have their cake and eat everyone else’s too.”
Why say this now? Prince, who came to Spotify as a veteran of the politics world, is attuned to the winds of Washington.
In fact, his comments came in response to a speech from Democrat senator (and potential vice president candidate) Elizabeth Warren warning about the dangers of “consolidation and concentration” in the technology industry.
She took aim at Apple, Google and Amazon, who she suggested “lock out smaller guys and newer guys” that compete with their services.
For Apple Music in particular, Warren claimed that Apple “has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services” – the conditions that Prince referred to in his comments, and which Spotify has been lobbying against for some time both in the media and behind the scenes.
For now, little has changed in Apple’s policies bar its promise to reduce its revenue-share of iOS subscriptions from 30% to 15% after a year of an individual subscriber paying.