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Spotify on Apple App Store changes: that's nice, but it's not enough

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Spotify still wants more flexibility on pricing

Spotify is not impressed.

Yesterday's news that Apple would be giving a bigger revenue share to app developers if they rope people into long-term subscriptions shook up the software world. But Spotify, which has been vocal in the past about what it calls the "Apple tax," says the changes don't get to the "core of the problem."

"It's a nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem with the Apple tax and its payment system," said Jonathan Prince, Spotify's global head of corporate communications and global policy, in a statement to The Verge.

"Unless Apple changes its rules, price flexibility is prohibited, which is why we can never provide special offers or discounts, and means we won't have the ability to share any savings with our customers," Prince continued. "Apple still insists on inserting itself between developers and their customers, which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn — or who even qualifies as a long-term subscriber."

Spotify: "It doesn't get to the core of the problem"

Apple has said that it will now give software developers 85 percent of revenue made from their apps, rather than the standard 70 percent, provided that those app makers are able to sustain ongoing subscribers for longer than a year. This is, seemingly, something that might be more beneficial to companies like Spotify, Netflix, and other services with large subscriber bases. It's also supposed to be a solution for smaller developers who haven't been able to make money from the App Store. In regards to pricing flexibility, Apple has also said that it will now allow developers to offer tiered pricing — 200 different price points across different currencies and territories.

However, there are other App Store features developers have been pleading for that Apple has not addressed — and its unclear whether the company will. These include things like payment for significant app updates, free trials of apps, and in Spotify's case, more flexibility around pricing and discounts.

Stay tuned for more updates on "App Store 2.0" as more developers of popular apps are likely to have different takes as they evaluate the new terms in the App Store.


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