The Apple tax? Sucks. Apple’s gatekeeper model that cleverly convinces users that Apple is the best solution? Stupid too. That’s a very quick and reworded TL;DR of Spotify’s requests at a stakeholder workshop hosted by the European Union (EU).
But let’s pause for a second and explain why those two are bad. From a developer’s point of view, losing 30% of profits to Apple just because your service is available in their AppStore leads to artificially inflated prices, while prohibiting communication between end users and app developers removes the product from the target market.
But like all solid arguments in life, this too is a coin. And on the other hand, Apple’s continued stance has a good reason behind its unyielding nature: privacy and security. If the floodgates are opened, we cannot possibly trust that every developer will not try to take advantage of the situation to extort users through data theft. And that’s just one item on Apple’s list of concerns.
Although Apple Music is successful, Spotify is still a worthy competitor.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the official way Spotify’s request was phrased:
- Allow an alternative option for in-app purchases on iOS
- Allow developers/companies to have direct communication with consumers
And this is the part where we ask you to stop us if you haven’t heard the above requests before. Apple and their AppStore are under a lot of pressure worldwide right now. Requests like this fly from left to right, and the overall vibe of the situation is that the bubble will eventually burst.
As an extra bit of context, this all relates to the EU’s Digital Marketing Act (DMA) – the very same document that got us excited to see an iPhone with a USB-C charging port. The event at which Spotify raised concerns was related to general app store concerns — as in, not just on iOS — concerns, but Gene Burrus, the music streaming service’s director of Global Competition Policy, didn’t pass up the opportunity to present a to choose a direct approach.
While the Cupertino company acknowledged that it understands its obligations under the DMA law, it hasn’t budged an inch regarding the AppStore’s rules and terms. Other companies countered the statement, expressing their belief that Apple has no exclusivity over the concept of “security,” which basically means they’ve scolded them.
While this workshop was never held with the idea of reaching a final solution, the fact is that both parties are firmly on their feet. As the implementation of the DMA law continues to progress, only time will tell what compromises the two factions will make to comply with the law and each other.