Spotify CEO Says Apple’s App Store Sign Up Changes ‘Doesn’t Solve the Problem’

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 2 Sep 2021


Apple has been heavily criticized for its App Store policies. App makers and developers have rallied against Apple to enforce changes to certain App Store practices. Spotify has openly revolted against Apple and was the founding member of the Coalition for App Fairness. Now Apple has announced a few changes that will let users sign-up and manage subscriptions in a much better way. Spotify Cheif Legal offier seems unimpressed by the move.

Spotify is a fierce advocate for changes in App Store policies. The music streaming giant teamed up with Epic and testified against Apple to Congress. Apple takes 30% of the cut as App Store fees and mandates its payment system on apps. Spotify’s gripe is that Apple doesn’t allow it to tell users that they can subscribe for lesser by paying directly on the app.

Recently Apple responded to Japan Fair Trade Commission. In the response, the company said that it would update App Store guidelines in early 2022. The updated guidelines will allow developers of reader apps to share a single link to their website. Furthermore, the link can be used for both sign-ups or renewal of subscriptions.

Apple has mentioned that this is only for “reader” apps. However, the company will extend the benefit for media and content apps, including digital magazines, newspapers, audio, music, and video. Putting things into perspective, apps like Spotify and Netflix will soon be able to put up a sign-up link to their website.

Spotify Executives Responds

Spotify Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez highlighted a clause that says, “Forbids restrictions of communication by developers to their users inside or outside of the app.” The fine print reads, “Narrow scope/Not applicable to all apps.” Guiterrez adds that the move is “a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the problem.” However, he said the changes “doesnt solve the problem.”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is quoted as follows,

This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the problem. App developers want clear, fair rules that apply to all apps. Our goal is to restore competition once and for all, not one arbitrary, self-serving step at a time. We will continue to push for a real solution

Last week Apple announced major changes in App Store policies in response to a lawsuit.