Spotify criticizes Apple's 'App Store monopoly' after policy update

Apple's new App Store fees have drawn criticism from one of the most popular apps on its platform.


Yesterday, a court denied appeals from both Apple and Epic Games in their case over the former’s App Store practices. This meant that Apple would be forced to allow external links for payments within applications, and it didn’t take long for Apple to adjust its policy accordingly. The newest App Store policy update entitles Apple to a 27 percent cut of payments made through external in-app links. The move drew criticism from multiple parties, including Spotify.

Following the publishing of our coverage of the court ruling in the Apple vs Epic Games trial yesterday, a Spotify spokesperson reached out to provide the following statement on the behalf of the company:

Per Apple’s updated App Store policy, the company takes a 12 percent cut from companies that are part of its Small Business Program.

The statement from Spotify echoes a sentiment shared among multiple app developers following yesterday’s news. As we await to see what comes next over on the App Store, stay right here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 17, 2024 11:50 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Spotify criticizes Apple's 'App Store monopoly' after policy update

    • reply
      January 17, 2024 1:03 PM

      > 27% fee for transactions made outside of an app on a developer’s website


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        January 17, 2024 1:38 PM

        That’s some serious trolling on apples part

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      January 17, 2024 1:47 PM

      That's crazypants.

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      January 17, 2024 1:53 PM

      now that they're the world's #1 phone manufacturer, antitrust when?

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      January 17, 2024 2:07 PM

      Epic is also pissed about this

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      January 17, 2024 4:47 PM

      Just wait till they get 27% free for door dash and ubers.

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      January 17, 2024 4:51 PM

      “We strongly urge the European Commission to act swiftly and decisively to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees, which are prohibited under the DMA.”

      Why can’t the USA do anything about this?

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        January 17, 2024 4:53 PM

        Congress would have to work for us :(.

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        January 17, 2024 4:56 PM

        Because our anti-trust laws and framework is terrible.

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        January 17, 2024 5:25 PM

        our government is designed to optimize for not passing laws

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        January 17, 2024 8:37 PM

        Because the US government (both parties) are corporate puppets and Apple has a lot of money to lobby.

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      January 17, 2024 5:39 PM

      I don’t understand at all how Apple things it is entitled to a cut of any transaction made outside of its App Store.

      Under what grounds? I understand App Store can be argued provides a service, and has costs to maintain app availability, security, to and certify apps. But outside of that? They offered no service at all. They deserve nothing.

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        January 17, 2024 5:41 PM

        I’m surprised people aren’t more upset about this. It seems like Apple gets a pass on behavior that would get any other big company in serious trouble.

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          January 17, 2024 5:47 PM

          Reading more, I guess they feel they deserve the commission for still hosting the app on the App Store, providing the ecosystem, providing advertising etc. Like a referral fee?

          If outside payment had zero commission, it would likely mean ALL apps would then try to get payments done outside of the App Store, leading to negative experiences for their customers. They are trying to make that moot.

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            January 17, 2024 5:52 PM

            yeah they think they refer everyone outside, which is kind of true, if youre paying for something in the app , you start with the app. but its like damn man, why make everyone do insane accounting and auditing. now you got developrs who will try to determine if they visited the site within 7 days of the app link. its completley bad faith by apple. hope the DOJ lays the hammer like EU

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              January 17, 2024 6:30 PM

              They mandate the insane accounting so no one bothers.

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          January 17, 2024 9:37 PM

          i think it's cause everyone's used to it and nobody really hears about it/thinks about it... when it's brought up, people don't like it though

          but yea, like with Steam - i still remember when Elite: Dangerous (kickstarted in 2012, released in 2014 with their own launcher) released on Steam in 2015, they initially did not let you link existing non-Steam copies with Steam. people raised hell on their forums.

          so they launched it on Steam, with a disclaimer on the forum - paraphrasing, "once you link your Frontier account with Steam, Valve's permanently taking their %cut of every purchase your Frontier account makes with the game, even if it's not through Steam and you continue buying directly from our website - so please, please think twice before linking your account."

          and this was like 10 years ago!

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        January 17, 2024 6:20 PM

        I doubt “entitled” has anything to do with it, they just know they can get away with it.

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        January 17, 2024 6:24 PM

        why would any dev even make an app for apple devices?

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          January 17, 2024 7:29 PM

          Because they want to reach their audience? lol what is this question

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            January 17, 2024 8:20 PM

            Most apps struggle to reach a profit, and $3 trillion market cap Apple is making that goal even harder. It will undoubtedly prevent some companies from taking the risk of building an app.

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              January 17, 2024 8:25 PM

              I suppose there's nuance here. Spotify *has* to have an app on Apple devices or people wouldn't subscribe. It's absolutely crucial.

              Other more esoteric ventures like Shacknews, my 401k holding company, fast food joint, etc? I'm not going to stop using those things if they don't have an official app. I'll just use the website, so yeah, for sure no *need* for them to build an app.

              But if your business presence requires you to have some sort of app presence and you're just building for Android, not Apple? That's not going to work out well for you.

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                January 17, 2024 8:36 PM

                I know it seems impossible right now, but Apple’s anti-consumer behaviors may eventually erode the moat that Steve Jobs built.

                They aren’t going to disappear, but they are falling off. Slowly but surely.

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                  January 17, 2024 8:41 PM

                  Yeah, time will tell. They're certainly starting their villain arc after being the hero for a while.

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          January 18, 2024 5:13 AM

          IOS as a platform is enormously more profitable to be on, even after apple’s fees. Users on iOS are much more likely to purchase IAPs compared to android. A typical stat I see from devs is that if you have an app that is monetized by IAPs or in-app subscriptions, you will make 10x as much on iOS as android (if the same app with same features is available on both platforms). If your app is ad-supported, you make more money showing ads on iOS because iOS users are more affluent. This is all very well known among app developers.

          This is the user base that Apple is charging 30% to access (or 15% if you make less than $1M per year, like me and almost all devs). It’s a very valuable user base, and Apple knows it. They are much more valuable on a per user basis than Android users.

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        January 18, 2024 4:53 AM

        Their belief is that they created the iphone, and all the related devices that boost that ecosystem, wrote all the software, provide all the APIs and tools that developers require, on going security, advertising etc. They think this entitles them to 33% of every penny made using any of that. Their argument is if you don't want to pay that 33% please go make your own mobile phone platform.

    • reply
      January 17, 2024 6:16 PM

      Tonight on the News: McDonalds criticizes Burger King

    • reply
      February 13, 2024 9:01 PM

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    • reply
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