Daniel Ek, the head of Spotify, says that Apple’s new changes to how apps can ask users for payments are a step in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough.
The main point Ek pushes is that the changes don’t apply to all apps in the App Store and the rules are still a little unclear.
If you haven’t been following the drama, Spotify has protested Apple’s iron grip on the App Store since roughly March 2019. Since then, more companies, including Epic Games, have launched different attacks on Apple’s policies for similar reasons.
Then on September 1st, 2021, following the Japan Fair Trade Commission ruling halting its investigation, Apple said that ‘reader’ apps like Netflix and Spotify can now link to websites to allow users to sign up for subscription services outside of the App Store, circumventing the 30 percent cut of revenue the tech giant typically takes.
Prior to this change, apps like Netflix and Spotify were forced to only offer account management and sign-ups directly through their iOS apps. Now, reader apps are able to direct users to their website to sign up.
This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't solve the problem. App developers want clear, fair rules that apply to all apps. Our goal is to restore competition once and for all, not one arbitrary, self-serving step at a time. We will continue to push for a real solution https://t.co/vzIoBpZQr1
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) September 2, 2021
The key issue Spotify seems to have with the change is that it applies to reader apps. Apple defines these as apps that display content outside of iOS, including previously purchased videos, music, magazines, books and streaming services.