Spotify fires back, points out Apple is swinging for low blows
But a popularity contest isn't Spotify's only problem in this situation. See, Apple has barred the company from placing a direct link for its Premium subscription within the Spotify app. In order for users to sign up to the paid service, they have to buy an item from the App Store. However, Apple takes a 30% cut from its store sales, which effectively increases the price of Spotify Premium from $10 to $13.
Of course, that's an issue – Apple's own Music will cost $10 per month for an individual, and will also include a $15 family plan that covers 6 accounts. Both sound much more lucrative than a $13 subscription to Spotify's Premium for just 1 account. The Swedish streamer wishes to let its users know that there is a cheaper way of doing things and has now started shooting out emails, which inform subscribers of this fact, and provide directions on how to un-subscribe from the App Store version of Spotify Premium, and subscribe for $9.99 directly through Spotify's own website.
Now that's a foul swing from Apple for sure. The company would usually only charge the 30% fee for businesses where it does not provide its own service. In this case, it is effectively using its position of power to inflate a major competitor's prices. The whole ordeal, combined with reports that Apple has been pressuring major labels to pull their songs from Spotify's free playlists, has led to authorities looking into the matter on grounds of anticompetitive business practices.