Apple and Spotify don’t go on vacation together. The animosity between the two groups has been known for some years, revolves around the practices of the App Store and the commission that Apple charges on in-app purchases.
In September, Spotify launched a new audiobook offering in the United States. A catalog of 300,000 titles to be purchased directly from the application… but only on Android. The streaming service had to remove the ability to pay for audiobooks on iOS. When an iPhone user wants to listen to an audiobook that isn’t in his Spotify library yet, he gets a simple message: ” You cannot purchase audiobooks in the app. We know it’s not ideal “.
Very demanding “guidelines”
At the launch of this new offer, the Spotify iOS application did not allow the purchase of an audiobook, but on the other hand it offered to send an email to the interested user. The post gave him all the explanations, plus a link to the platform’s audiobook store on the web. After the purchase, the content appeared in the app library, with of course the possibility to read it.
Apple found that this process did not respect its famous “guidelines”, a set of rules that developers must follow in order to sell their apps and content on the App Store. However, if some applications can integrate a web link to purchase content outside the in-app payment system, then Spotify’s system is not suitable.
The streaming service was denied two updates to its iOS app which contained fixes to manage its audiobook purchasing system, but failed to do anything. In order for the App Store to revalidate new versions of the application, Spotify therefore had to remove it completely. This will not improve relations between the two companies.