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Apple bends its own rules by using push notifications to promote Apple Music

Apple bends its own rules by using push notifications to promote Apple Music


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Apple is sending out push notifications to Apple Music subscribers, offering a month of free music streaming to friends they refer to the service, reports 9to5Mac. The previous week, the company generated notifications from the same app, offering a three-month free trial to lapsed subscribers.

Technically, 9to5Mac notes that this breaks one of Apple’s own App Store review guidelines, which says that “push notifications… should not be used for advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes.” We’ve contacted Apple for clarification on its rules, and we will update this piece when we hear back.

This isn’t the first time Apple has used its own app’s notifications for promotional purposes. You might have seen push notifications for Apple’s Carpool Karaoke show, and if you’re a member of the iPhone Upgrade Program, the Apple Store will notify you when new iPhone models are available.

In both cases, Apple doesn’t seem to be obeying its own App Store rules to the letter. However, while iPhone Upgrade Program members are likely to be interested in hearing about the latest iPhones, a lapsed Apple Music subscriber probably doesn’t want any notifications from the service. Currently, Apple’s App Store guidelines don’t distinguish between these two cases, but maybe it’s time they did.