Editorial: Dear Spotify, The Rules ARE Fair

Appleosophy | Editorial: Dear Spotify, The Rules ARE Fair

Recently, Spotify released a video about how basically Apple has rigged the game against them when it comes to their music streaming service. The company also goes on to complain about the “Apple Tax.”

The “Apple Tax” is that when companies and developers have apps and services that consumers can purchase through iTunes, whether it’s a single item or subscription, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of it.

This “tax” could be the reason you see eBooks on Apple Books that are more expensive than on the Kindle Store.

However, Spotify is complaining about the fact that when someone pays $9.99 a month for Spotify Premium, Apple will take a 30 percent cut of that. They also complain that they “can’t afford” to pay that 30 percent tax, yet it looks like they have been doing it for quite a while now.


Spotify’s in-app purchases in the App Store and iTunes

Spotify claims that they would not be able to have lower prices for their users. However, I don’t think this is true either since they have been able to discount Spotify Premium for Students to $4.99 a month, therefore, yes, they are able to discount the service.

Yes, Apple is the owner of the App Store and Apple Music (Spotify’s competitor), therefore, it would make sense for them to NOT advertise the use of Spotify since Apple Music is trying to get people to use their service on their platform (the App Store and iTunes).

Next, let’s talk about Spotify saying that Apple is giving themselves an “unfair advantage.” How is it unfair for Apple to promote its music streaming service in their App Store? It’s their business, so they can do whatever they want. It’s like if Best Buy said that it was unfair that Walmart didn’t promote their gift cards in Walmart retail stores. Why would they, you’re their competitor?

Don’t like that Apple does not allow you to put your sales and promotions for your service on Apple’s App Store? The good news is that the free market, also known as that beautiful thing in capitalism, will allow you to promote your service in their apps, websites and stores with no extra taxes or strings attached to it.

This means that if you want to promote your 99 cents for three months of Spotify Premium on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you can do so (I even saw the ad once on CNET a few years ago). Heck, you could put ads on Hulu since you have a partnership with them.

Lastly, don’t say that Apple needs to “play fair.” Business is not about what is fair and what is not. Not to be political, but this idea of “playing fair” reminds me of people like Bernie Sanders that say that big businesses, companies, millionaires and billionaires need to pay more taxes in the name of “fairly distributing the wealth.” What you think is fair may not be what another person thinks is fair. You cannot legislate morality, Spotify.

Overall, Spotify needs to quit whining about the “Apple Tax” and maybe find a way around it. Better yet, do what a lot of other companies such as Sling TV where you make it so that you can only sign up for Spotify from Spotify’s website. This way, you don’t have to pay the “Apple Tax” and get to keep the extra 30 percent you would have lost from it.

In fact, maybe with that extra money, you could, you know, pay your singers and songwriters more. Just saying…

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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