Rival music services claim Apple’s App Store pricing is anticompetitive

“Universal Music Group has been the main music label leveling pressure against Spotify to abandon its free tier, according to sources,” Micah Singleton reports for The Verge. “Earlier this week, The Verge reported that Apple has been pushing music labels to force Spotify to get rid of its free tier ahead of Apple’s relaunch of its Beats streaming service, a move that has drawn the attention of the Department of Justice and, more formally, the Federal Trade Commission, which is leading the inquiry.”

“But Spotify’s issues with Apple extend far beyond the claim that world’s largest company is trying to convince music labels to kill its free tier. The music streaming service is also not happy about Apple’s App Store tax, according to multiple sources,” Singleton reports. “Apple charges a 30 percent fee toward any sales through its App Store, and that includes subscription services. That means if Spotify wants to sell its premium subscription service — which usually costs $9.99 a month — through the App Store, it has to raise the price 30 percent higher to $12.99 to pull in the same revenue, while Apple can still offer Beats at a lower price. Spotify and many others in the music industry believe Apple’s App Store tax gives them an unfair advantage over the competition.”

“‘I get that there’s some administrative burden so they should get some kind of fee, but 30 percent is fucking bullshit,’ one music industry source said,” Singleton reports. ‘They control iOS to give themselves a price advantage,’ said another industry source. ‘Thirty percent doesn’t go to any artist, it doesn’t go to us, it goes to Apple.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is the same old tired whining about Apple’s App Store terms.

If you don’t like the terms, you are free to market your wares to non-iOS users. Apple’s iOS market share is dwarfed by Android. Apple does not have a monopoly in smartphones, therefore there’s nothing to abuse. Go sell Spotify and whatever other amateurish crap services are out there to the billion+ fragmandroid settlers if you don’t like Apple’s App Store terms. Knock yourselves out.


  1. Apple haters and whiners first said that Apple is irrelevant and to standardize on Windows devices. When Apple un-beliegered itself and normal people loved it, they and the loopy Justice Dept. prosecuted it for charging more than the competition, and now they are criticizing and whining like little girls that it does not charge enough.

  2. My impression: Your assertion that the Apple sales percentage mark up of 30% has WHAT EXACTLY to do with MUSIC?!

    Apps vs Music.

    This is just ‘fucking bullshit’ FUD from yet another 20th century music conglomerate that refuses to grow up and move into the 21st century.

    Now, if the actual application developer community wants to criticize Apple for the 30% markup, THAT is worth my attention.

    So please STFU Universal Music Group and stick to your field of expertise and business, which is NOT applications.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.