Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has mentioned in an interview with Bloomberg that he thinks Apple is starting to open up more to third-party competitors like Spotify.
Spotify and Apple have been feuding for a while now over the Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s iron grip on the App Store. It all began in March 2019 when Spotify alleged that Apple was holding its apps back from the Apple TV and Apple Watch while also not allowing the company access to Siri, among other features.
Since then, the two companies have been going back and forth, with Spotify saying that it and other apps have been mistreated because Apple is a monopoly and Apple refuting the claims. However, that’s all public-facing; behind the scenes, the situation does seem to be getting better, at least for Spotify.
Since the initial argument, Spotify has released an Apple TV app and gotten to integrate with Siri, lifting some of Spotify’s initial concerns.
In the interview with Bloomberg, Ek said that “Long term, we do expect Apple to open up,” but he does expect it to take a much longer time until it becomes perfectly fair and equal.
In the Bloomberg piece, it mentions that Apple might be gearing up to allow third-party apps to replace the default apps on iPhone, and it might let non-Apple music apps work on its HomePod smart speaker. That said, these are just rumours leading up to the next version of iOS.
Beyond this, there isn’t much to gain from this interview. It’s hard to tell if Ek is speaking with sincerity or he’s just trying to stay in Apple’s good books as he tries to get more Apple Music users to switch to Spotify, which is much easier to do if Apple isn’t blocking app updates.