Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

In E.U. Antitrust Case Response, Apple Argues That Spotify Pays 15% Commission on Just 0.5% of Subscribers

To recap, Spotify complained to E.U. authorities back in March that it was anticompetitive for Apple to require subscriptions purchased through apps to use their own in-app purchase mechanism, thereby taking a cut of all subscriptions. Apple’s response to European antitrust authorities was made public recently.

Murray Stassen, Music Business Worldwide:

What’s more, says Apple, Spotify hasn’t paid any additional commission on a single subscriber obtained via the App Store for the past three years.

In fact, according to an argument seen by MBW, Apple says that Spotify only pays a 15% ‘app tax’ revenue share on just 0.5% of the latter’s 100 million premium subscribers worldwide.

That equates to around 680,000 customers acquired during 2014-16 when these subscribers used ‘In App Purchase’ – but Spotify apparently switched off subscriptions via the app after that.

In isolation, this almost feels like an acknowledgement of Spotify’s complaint. Spotify has lots of subscribers, but they have been forced to acquire the vast majority of them from outside of their iOS app because of Apple’s commission. However, even though I’m not sure how this is framed in context — frustratingly, Stassen does not post a copy of the response — this argument seems to be a way to emphasize that Apple’s commission on subscriptions has not been an impediment to the company’s growth.