Spotify's main argument was that Apple's own music service, Apple Music, isn't subject to the same restrictions of its own app. CEO Daniel Ek said that Apps should compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. As far as Apple Watch goes, Apple claims it reviewed and approved Spotify's Apple Watch app, which was submitted in September 2018, "with the same process and speed with which we would any other app".
Its response to the 30% paid app tax, Apple is considerably less convincing.
It appears that Apple wants to keep its arguments focused on the store as a whole rather than directly engaging with points about its own apps.
The iPhone maker published a blog post on its website on Friday responding to Spotify's claims that Apple abuses its dominant position to "deliberately disadvantage" competing music streaming services.
It said that it has approved 200 app updates, and "the only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every app follows".
Apple today hit back at the claims made by Spotify which criticized it for its unfair business practices. Apple described Spotify's claims as "surprising", pointing out that the Swedish company has an Apple Watch app that's ranked as the top app in the wearable App Store's Music section. No, it never blocked Spotify support from Siri or HomePod, it claims, stating it reached out to Spotify about AirPlay 2 support "on several occasions".
Spotify was not immediately available to comment on Apple's response. This isn't just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry, Apple said.
What do you think about this battle between Spotify and Apple? Apple also notes that, while Spotify has discussed the 30 percent cut that Apple takes, this drops to 15 percent in the second year for subscriptions.More news: CEO of troubled Wells Fargo says bank is stronger
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Apple said that "only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple's revenue-sharing model". However, it's worth pointing out that the kit does not support third-party audio app integration which explains why you can't tell Siri to play your music on Spotify. "Spotify is asking for that number to be zero".
"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".
Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has.
"We think that's wrong", it said.
Apple also slammed Spotify for aiming to "make more money off others' work", including that of "artists, musicians and songwriters".
It went on to point out that the majority of Spotify's customers are either free users or those who signed up for Premium accounts through deals with their carrier (or though other promotions like the one with Hulu that was recently announced).
In the past, I've argued that the benefits of Apple's approach to the App Store outweigh the downsides.