Apple vs. Spotify: Apple brings a gun to a knife fight (u)

Daniel Ek’s complaint to the European Commission must have cut pretty deep.

From Addressing Spotify’s claims, posted Thursday on Apple Newsroom:

After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes…

So we want to address a few key points:

  • Spotify claims we’re blocking their access to products and updates to their app…
  • Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free…
  • What does that have to do with music? A lot. It’s not just the App Store that they’re trying to squeeze — it’s also artists, musicians and songwriters. Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn’t just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry.

My take: If it’s Apple vs. Spotify in a battle of spin, I wouldn’t bet on Ek. He made a rookie mistake leaving Apple this easy opening:

As Spotify points out, that revenue share is 30 percent for the first year of an annual subscription — but they left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after. That’s not the only information Spotify left out about how their business works…

It would have done neither side any good to mention the situation on the ground.

apple spotify

Click to enlarge.

See also: What Spotify said about Apple (video)

UPDATE: Maybe I’m a just sucker for rhetoric, because mine is not the prevailing take. See, for example:


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Google takes 45% of the ad revenue generated on YouTube.

    March 15, 2019

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