Spotify has accused Apple Music of sabotaging the balance of fair competition. The streaming service’s CEO Daniel Ek has recently written and published a blog post that says Apple Music has tapped into “discriminatory tariffs” to put them at an advantage over their streaming competitors.
In the post, Ek describes a few instances where Apple Music may limit his streaming service’s scope. One instance cites restrictions regarding an expensive “Apple tax.” Additionally, Ek describes a lack of device compatibility.
That said, Ek explains Spotify has to pay a 30 percent tax through Apple’s payment system, thus affecting the cost of upgrading from a free membership to a premium service. Ek says that if Spotify ends up paying this tax, Apple Music would hold some sort of monopoly on the streaming world in regards to the cost of membership. If Spotify were to actually pay the tax, Ek says they could not compete with Apple Music’s lower prices.
However, Ek says if they refuse to pay the Apple tax, then the company puts restrictions on Spotify’s reach. If that’s the case, not paying the tax diminishes users’ overall experience.
Ek cites Apple services such as Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch not being compatible with Spotify’s services.
With this announcement, Ek states that the company has since filed a complaint on Apple Music through the European Commission.
“My goal for Spotify is and has always been to reimagine the audio experience by giving consumers the best creativity and innovation we have to offer,” Ek says. “For that to be a reality, it is my firm belief that companies like ours must operate in an ecosystem in which fair competition is not only encouraged, but guaranteed. It’s why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory.”
Ek then goes on to address the problem on a larger scale. In doing so, Ek compares and contrasts the effect of the Apple tax to companies that are not affected.
“Consumers win and our industry thrives when we’re able to challenge each other on fair footing,” Ek says. “That’s what competition on the merits is all about.”
However, Ek’s post comes after Spotify came under fire for their controversial payment appeal. In the face of all the drama, many industry professionals and consumers have spoken out about Spotify and Amazon’s disproportionate pay rates, while relating said disbursements to competitors such as Apple Music.
As previously reported, a proposed increase in payouts would bump a song on Spotify’s pay from .003 cents per stream to .004 cents per stream, an increase of almost 44 percent.
You can read Ek’s full statement, which includes proposed solutions regarding Apple Music, here.
What do you think about all the drama between Apple Music and Spotify? Sound off in the comments below.