It means that a United States subscriber who would be paying $9.99 if they had signed up via Spotify’s own website is paying $12.99 a month to access the streaming music platform. In return, Apple keeps a 30 percent cut for all the in-app purchases that are made for these digital products such as games, music streaming subscriptions, etc. which are sold via its platform. Apple charges $9.99 a month (after a three-month free trial) for Apple Music, or $14.99 a month for a family of up to six. It does involve closing and re-opening an account, so isn’t a seamless process, but is still worth doing given the saving.
Apple has been trying to secure exclusive content for its new streaming service in an effort to lure customers away from rival services like Spotify and Tidal. (Oh, the perils of having a big streaming service and one of the most popular App Stores around.).
Pitchfork claims that when they reached out to Larry Jackson, Apple Music’s head of content, for comment he responded with a tweet consisting of a dig at Spotify CEO Daniel Elk’s “Oh ok” tweet when Apple Music was announced in addition to the hashtags “Content”, “Curation”, “Culture” and a link to Drake’s music video on Apple Music.
Apple officially entered the music streaming market (that was already on its way to saturation) on June 30, by launching Apple Music. To avoid it, customers can sign up for a streaming service through their Web browser, but the streaming industry sources argue that many consumers do not realize that is an option.
There’s also talk that the government might be looking into some of Apple’s other App Store policies as well. “You can either raise your prices and not be competitive with Apple’s price, or you can have no margin”, feels Goldman who is not aware of FTC looking into the matter.
Reuters further noted that “Two of the industry sources say that the antitrust concerns focus on restrictions in the App Store”. Namely, if it’s fair that Apple can effectively prohibit app developers (and competing companies) from advertising within their apps that said apps are also available on non-iOS platforms. And while that’s not that big of a deal when Apple’s just running the App Store, it becomes a slightly bigger deal-the “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” portion of the Federal Trade Commission Act-when Apple uses its policies to turn the screw on direct competitors.
“They’re (Apple) tough business people”, said the lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.