Apple: We collect fees on less than 1% of Spotify users

Stephen Nellis for Reuters:

Music streaming service Spotify Technology SA pays Apple Inc a 15% fee on about 680,000 of its 100 million premium customers, Apple disclosed in a response to Spotify’s complaint with European antitrust regulators.

In March, Spotify filed a complaint with European Union regulators saying that Apple’s control of the App Store, including fees it charges for taking payments through the store, had made it unfairly difficult for rivals to compete for music subscribers.

Apple charges a 30% fee for in-app purchases made through the App Store, a fee that drops to 15% on subscription purchases after one year. In exchange, Apple handles all the mechanics of billing and payments in more than 100 countries.

Apple said that Spotify used its App Store billing system between 2014 and 2016. Because the 680,000 premium Spotify customers who signed up during that period have all been paying for more than a year, Spotify pays Apple the lower 15% fee on them, Apple said in its response.

Apple also said that Spotify has paid it nothing for premium subscribers who signed up during the past three years because Spotify has not used Apple’s in-app purchase system.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s easier to litigate than to compete. Spotify is a lazy company.

It really makes no sense to subscribe to Spotify when it has 40% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the exact same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 50 million songs; Spotify has just 30 million. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)


  1. You’d think like the old “I’m a pc I’m a Mac” spots Apple would aggressively advertise Apple Music and do their own posts on how to convert Spotify playlists to Apple Music and give an incentive to do so. But that would take balls.

    Apple ends up with 13% market share if everything they do because they have no balls.

    And investors wonder if there is room for Apple to grow

    1. Apple WANTS only 15%-20% market share. The top 20% is where the best customers live and limiting market share keeps politically motivated witch hunts away – at least it has in the past…

  2. You may be able to move your Spotify playlist to Apple Music, but you CANNOT move your Apple Music playlist from one Apple store to another. If you move to a different country and need to change the country you originally subscribed with, you have to unsubscribe from Apple Music (thereby losing all your playlists) and then change your Apple Store country and then resubscribe and redo all your playlists. This is SO brain-dead. Very un-Apple…

  3. Spotify, which I do not subscribe to, will at least let my non subscriber friends listen to my playlist with ads. Apple Music, which I do pay for, only lets me share preview clips.

  4. MDN:

    Maybe Spotify is lazy, maybe not.
    It’s not competition if your competitor defines how you are to compete. Or how your App is to behave, or even exist.

  5. After trying Apple Music for 3 months, I went back to Spotify. Their music discovery tools and playlists are significantly better. I miss the iOS integration, but a music service is about finding music. Apple Music failed me in that respect.

  6. I tried the Apple Music free trial. I had a free Spotify account. I also had Pandora. In the end, I went back to iTunes listening to my ripped CDs. On the occasion that I want to buy a track, I defaulted to iTunes. It was just so simple.

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