Spotify vs Apple: a battle for the audiobook market

Spotify vs Apple: una battaglia per il mercato degli audiolibri thumbnail

Continue the arm wrestling between Spotify e Apple, this time on the burgeoning audiobook industry. According to Cupertino, the Swedish audio streaming company would redirect users interested in purchasing Audiobooks outside the App Store. Reason why the latest update of the Spotify app, which would allow you to buy and play audiobooks, is not currently available in the App Store.

The Apple Insider site reports that in the past month Apple has reportedly rejected the Sporify app update three times, arguing that the latter violates the App Store rules regarding purchases. In response, Spotify accused Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

Spotify accuses Apple of anti-competitive behavior

Spotify has now urged lawmakers to regulate in-app purchases, to allow developers to sell services and products even outside the App Store. At the base there are certainly economic reasons: Apple currently retains a commission between 15% and 30% on each purchase carried out on the App Store. Money that many developers are unwilling to give.

Already last year the Japan Fair Trade Commission had expressed concerns about Apple’s potentially anti-competitive policies by opening an investigation. A few months later the iPhone company had announced that would have allowed developers to post in-app links external to the App Store. According to the New York Times, Apple would have designed this precise feature in agreement with Spotify’s legal team.

A Cupertino spokesperson told the New York Times that the company had no issues with adding Spotify’s audiobooks functionality. However the spokesperson pointed out that Spotify would circumvented the rules regarding the redirection of users on third party sites, outside of their own app. Below is the official statement of the company:

“The App Store was designed to be a great business opportunity for developers and we fully support initiatives to introduce new features into apps as they provide lasting value for users. We have no issues with playback apps that add content such as audiobooks, although they redirect users to other websites for signing up for services or with alternative purchase options. The Spotify app was rejected for failing to follow guidelines regarding the inclusion of explicit in-app communications regarding purchases outside the app itself. We gave them clear guidance on how to fix the problem and approved their app after making changes. The app is now compliant with our standards ”.

Spotify’s new update – the one that includes audiobooks functionality – would have received approval to land on the App Store. Despite this, at the time of writing, this version is not yet available in the Apple store.

Earlier this year, Apple Music had launched a small jab at Spotify, claiming to be “the home of Neil Young”. This following the farewell of the legendary singer-songwriter to Spotify, in open controversy with the streaming platform.