Spotify is dropping Premium subscribers who signed up through Apple’s in-app purchase system and urging them to resubscribe with another payment method.
The move comes roughly seven years after Spotify axed the ability to subscribe to its Premium membership through Apple’s payment system. The music streaming service killed the capability in 2016 to dodge Apple’s up to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. Spotify also charged more for Premium through Apple’s payment system.
Variety reported on the email Spotify sent to Premium subscribers using Apple’s payments system. According to the publication, Spotify said that it “no longer accept[s] that billing method as a form of payment.”
The email goes on to warn customers that Spotify will automatically switch their account to its free, ad-supported service. “If you wish to keep your Premium subscription, you will need to re-subscribe after your last billing period has ended and your account has been moved on to the Free account,” the email says.
When users resubscribe, they’ll need to use a supported payment method, like credit cards or PayPal.
A Spotify spokesperson told Variety that the move “will help ensure that we can continue to provide a consistent best-in-class subscription experience for all our users.”
However, as Variety pointed out, the change likely won’t impact many people. Back in 2019, an Apple regulatory filing revealed it collected subscription payment fees for only 680,000 Spotify customers. At the time, Spotify had 100 million premium subscribers. As of Q4 2022, the service surpassed 200 million paid subscribers.
This feels like a conclusion of sorts for Spotify’s ongoing feud with Apple over payments. The streamer filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the EU back in 2019 and has since been very vocal about Apple’s payments system.
Spotify also spoke out about Google, which offers a similar system through its Play Store on Android devices, but the two companies eventually came to an agreement of sorts. There’s now a pilot program in some regions where Spotify users can pick whether to pay through Spotify’s payments system or Google’s. However, the search giant still charges a fee, though it’s apparently four percent less than the standard rate.