CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA In the present day, the European Fee introduced a call claiming the App Retailer has been a barrier to competitors within the digital music market. The choice was reached regardless of the Fee’s failure to uncover any credible proof of client hurt, and ignores the realities of a market that’s thriving, aggressive, and rising quick.

The first advocate for this choice — and the most important beneficiary — is Spotify, an organization primarily based in Stockholm, Sweden. Spotify has the biggest music streaming app on the earth, and has met with the European Fee greater than 65 occasions throughout this investigation.

In the present day, Spotify has a 56 % share of Europe’s music streaming market — greater than double their closest competitor’s — and pays Apple nothing for the providers which have helped make them one of the recognizable manufacturers on the earth. A big a part of their success is because of the App Retailer, together with all of the instruments and know-how that Spotify makes use of to construct, replace, and share their app with Apple customers world wide.

We’re proud to play a key position supporting Spotify’s success — as we’ve got for builders of all sizes, from the App Retailer’s earliest days.

The App Retailer Journey

For the reason that App Retailer launched greater than 15 years in the past, Apple has had two easy targets: making a secure and trusted market for our customers, and an unimaginable enterprise alternative for builders. That strategy appears easy, however the app economic system it impressed helped drive one of many quickest development curves within the historical past of know-how.

In the present day, builders compete on a stage taking part in area on the App Retailer. Apps are reviewed in line with a complete algorithm, that are designed to guard our customers. And assembly these guidelines means builders of all sizes can attain greater than a billion units world wide.

Over time, the App Retailer has provided builders much more worth. However the overwhelming majority of builders — about 86 % — by no means pay Apple a fee.

In the present day, there are simply two circumstances the place a developer on the App Retailer pays Apple a fee. That’s when a person buys a paid app from the App Retailer or an in-app digital good or service — like a subscription or a power-up in a recreation.

If a developer sells bodily items, serves advertisements of their app, or simply shares an app at no cost, they don’t pay Apple something. The identical is true if a developer sells a subscription on the internet for customers to purchase, earlier than they use it in an app on their machine. Music app builders may even embrace details about different presents accessible exterior of their app, together with a hyperlink directing customers to an internet site to create and handle their account.

Over time, the App Retailer has helped builders of all sizes construct profitable companies and attain individuals world wide. And few corporations embody that story higher than Spotify.

Spotify’s Dominant Share of the Market

Beginning out as a small startup in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify has grown their firm into the biggest digital music enterprise on the earth. They’ve a greater than 50 % share of the European market, and on iOS, Spotify has a good greater share than they do on Android.

However that’s simply a part of the image, as a result of Europe’s digital music market has completely exploded. Corporations compete for brand spanking new clients. Customers have many choices to select from. And final 12 months, there have been practically 160 million subscribers — up from 25 million in 2015 — a staggering 27 % development fee per 12 months.

Corporations like Google, Amazon, Deezer, SoundCloud, and Apple compete for patrons daily — however Spotify stands on the prime.

Spotify Pays Apple Nothing

Regardless of that success, and the App Retailer’s position in making it doable, Spotify pays Apple nothing. That’s as a result of Spotify — like many builders on the App Retailer — made a alternative. As an alternative of promoting subscriptions of their app, they promote them on their web site. And Apple doesn’t accumulate a fee on these purchases.

All informed, the Spotify app has been downloaded, redownloaded, or up to date greater than 119 billion occasions on Apple units. It’s accessible on the App Retailer in over 160 nations spanning the globe. And there are lots of extra methods Apple creates worth for Spotify, for gratis to their firm:

  • Our engineering helps be sure that Spotify’s apps can work seamlessly with Siri, CarPlay, Apple Watch, AirPlay, Widgets, and extra.
  • Like each developer, Spotify can entry Apple’s greater than 250,000 APIs — and makes use of 60 of our frameworks — so their apps can join with Bluetooth, ship notifications, play audio within the background of a person’s machine, and extra.
  • Spotify has used our beta-testing instrument, TestFlight, for nearly 500 variations of their app to experiment with new options and capabilities.
  • Our App Evaluate workforce has reviewed and authorized 421 variations of the Spotify app — often with same-day turnaround — and often expedites opinions at Spotify’s request.

It takes steady effort and quite a lot of funding for Apple to make the instruments, the know-how, and {the marketplace} that Spotify makes use of daily. We’ve even flown our engineers to Stockholm to assist Spotify’s groups in particular person. And the result’s that when a person opens the Spotify app, listens to music on their commute, or asks Siri to play a track from their library, every part simply works. And once more — Spotify pays Apple nothing.

With regards to doing enterprise, not everybody’s going to agree on the most effective deal. But it surely certain is difficult to beat free.

Spotify Needs Extra

However free isn’t sufficient for Spotify. Additionally they wish to rewrite the foundations of the App Retailer — in a means that benefits them much more.

Like many corporations, Spotify makes use of emails, social media, textual content messages, net advertisements, and lots of different methods to succeed in potential clients. Beneath the App Retailer’s reader rule, Spotify may also embrace a hyperlink of their app to a webpage the place customers can create or handle an account.

We launched the reader rule years in the past in response to suggestions from builders like Spotify. And quite a lot of reader apps use that choice to hyperlink customers to a webpage — from e-readers to video streaming providers. Spotify may too — however they’ve chosen to not.

As an alternative, Spotify desires to bend the foundations of their favor by embedding subscription costs of their app with out utilizing the App Retailer’s In-App Buy system. They wish to use Apple’s instruments and applied sciences, distribute on the App Retailer, and profit from the belief we’ve constructed with customers — and to pay Apple nothing for it.

In brief, Spotify desires extra.

Spotify’s Coordination with the European Fee

In 2015, Spotify began working with the European Fee on an investigation with little grounding in actuality. They claimed the digital music market had stalled, and that Apple was holding rivals again. Sadly for his or her case, Spotify continued to develop — and thanks partially to the App Retailer, eclipsed each different digital music enterprise on the earth.

Over the subsequent eight years, and greater than 65 conferences with Spotify, the European Fee has tried to construct three totally different instances. With each pivot, they’ve narrowed the scope of their claims — however every idea has had a few options in widespread:

  • No proof of client hurt: European shoppers have extra selections than ever in a digital music market that’s grown exponentially. In simply eight years, it’s gone from 25 million subscribers to virtually 160 million — with greater than 300 million energetic listeners — and Spotify has been the most important winner.
  • No proof of anti-competitive habits: Eight years of investigations have by no means yielded a viable idea explaining how Apple has thwarted competitors in a market that’s so clearly thriving.

The European Fee is issuing this choice simply earlier than their new regulation — the Digital Markets Act (DMA) — comes into drive. Apple is ready to adjust to the DMA in days, and our plans embrace adjustments to the foundations challenged right here. What’s clear is that this choice just isn’t grounded in current competitors legislation. It’s an effort by the Fee to implement the DMA earlier than the DMA turns into legislation.

The truth is that European shoppers have extra selections than ever. Paradoxically, within the identify of competitors, as we speak’s choice simply cements the dominant place of a profitable European firm that’s the digital music market’s runaway chief.

What’s Subsequent?

Apple has been part of Europe for over 40 years, and as we speak, we assist greater than 2.5 million jobs throughout the continent. We’ve helped markets thrive, selling competitors and innovation at each flip — and the App Retailer is a vital a part of that story. So whereas we respect the European Fee, the details merely don’t assist this choice. And in consequence, Apple will attraction.

The digital music market is a superb instance of the app economic system at work. In any case, over the App Retailer’s 15 years, a easy phrase — there’s an app for that — has turn out to be a common fact. And as we speak, behind each app is a wildly profitable firm or an aspiring entrepreneur chasing a dream.

Each day, groups at Apple work to maintain that dream alive. We do it by making the App Retailer the most secure and finest expertise for our customers. We do it by giving builders the means to make unimaginable apps. Most of all, we do it as a result of apps have an unimaginable capability to drive improvements that empower individuals and enrich their lives.