Apple vs Spotify: Branding Apple Anti-Competitive is Downright Ad Hominem

The other day while taking a usual stroll in the App Store, I stumbled upon a classy game called “Candy Crush Saga”. Within moments of my interaction with the app, I was fascinated by the timeless enjoyment of crushing candies and got embroiled in the nostalgia of locking horns with dear ones.

For all being age-old, King’s ” Prodigy” got me into killing candies all over again. While playing the game with my better half, I wondered had there been no App Store, would Candy Crush Saga have got so much recognition? Of course, the game has a dominating presence on the Play Store as well but it has garnered more love in the App Store.

Apple vs Spotify: Branding Apple Anti Competitive is Downright Ad Hominem 1

As of September 2023, King has reportedly minted over $20 billion in revenue. No prizes for guessing! A large chunk of this revenue has come from the App Store. Whereas the app developer has been rewarded for developing an exceptionally intriguing game, Apple has managed to earn a flat 30% of the total revenue through in-app purchases for providing a robust platform with a massive base of users.

Though most heap praises on King for creating a great puzzle game (and rightly so), very few (or none) seem to recognize the efforts put by Apple in facilitating an unmatched platform from behind the scenes. From what the prism shows, Apple is doing a thankless job. The job warrants the Cupertino giant to be on edge relentlessly but stops the company from taking even 10% credit for the incredible success of apps.

Forget about giving the due credit to Apple for providing an amazing app marketplace, app developers (many) never miss any opportunities to cash in on the loopholes and stop the company from taking the 30% share of the total revenue. When Apple resists the charge, they go their all out to brand the iPhone maker as anti-competitive and even go as far as to sue the company.

Well, that brings me to Apple vs Spotify faceoff that is being played out fiercely in the European Union. The Swedish-based music streaming giant has sued Apple alleging that it has deployed various ways to prevent Spotify from growing. One of the major accusations that Spotify has slapped on Apple is that the Cupertino-based company has used its dominant position and tools to promote Apple Music. Furthermore, Spotify has also alleged that Apple Music has been deeply integrated with Apple’s ecosystem and designed to work seamlessly with Siri.

Apple is well within its right to make Apple Music fall in love with iDevices and seamlessly integrate the music app with Siri and other iServices. After all, Apple solely owns iDevices, has spent years reforming the services, and has to go through the ordeal to enhance the performance of the Apple ecosystem. Spotify wishes to inherit the same benefits that Apple Music has – even though the former already gets almost all the goodies – (with very little to no liability towards Apple).

If Spotify is feeling jealous of Apple Music’s seamless play with iDevices, it’s because Apple Music has emerged as the real challenger – unlike other dozens of music-streaming services that have struggled to pose any challenge to Spotify. Having already knocked Spotify from the numero uno position in the United States long long ago, Apple Music has been breathing down the neck of Spotify in several countries. Not to mention, Apple Music’s massive music library and the ability to deliver high-quality audio have forced Spotify to wake up from a long slumber.

As a counter punch, Spotify has been smartly using a gateway to avoid paying the 30% revenue share to Apple. That means Spotify has been making the most of Apple’s enviable platform without having to pay a single penny to Apple. Purely from a business perspective, it’s akin to cheating.

If the hard data is anything to go by, a good deal of Spotify’s revenue comes from Apple’s ecosystem. If Apple wants to have a rightful slice of Spotify’s income generated via iDevices, it shouldn’t be deemed anti-competitive and coerced to pay a hefty fine of $2 billion by the EU. Had that been the case, the Swedish-based music-streaming service wouldn’t still be ruling the roost on Apple’s platform.

Just a little scrubbing on the surface reveals that it’s Spotify, not Apple, that is in an advantageous position – by hook or by crook.

Read more: 140 Best iOS 17 Hidden Features: Time to Dig Deeper!

Posted by
Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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