Spotify emailed subscribers that Apple’s paying service is no longer allowed and that accounts using this method will immediately drop to the free, ad-supported level. After their previous paying month has ended and their account has been switched to the Free account, users must re-subscribe if they want to maintain their Premium membership. To keep their Premium subscription, Spotify users must use credit cards or PayPal.
Spotify’s complaint of Apple’s “tax” on App Store sales explains its in-app purchase ban. Spotify claims Apple is anti-competitive.
In February, the European Commission strengthened its antitrust action against Apple and criticized the App Store’s music streaming service requirements. The Commission said that Apple had violated antitrust regulations by forbidding competitors in the music industry, such as Spotify, from promoting where and how customers may download their apps. Apple was accused of exploiting its dominating position by requiring music streaming app developers to utilize its proprietary in-app purchase payment mechanism and limiting their ability to alert iPhone and iPad customers to competing music subscription services.
Spotify is fighting unfair business practices by suspending support for Apple’s in-app purchase and providing its Premium users alternative payment options.
Apple’s in-app purchases won’t work for Spotify Premium subscribers. Since May 2016, only Apple customers may use in-app purchasing.. Spotify will notify affected users via email that Apple’s billing service is no longer accepted as payment and accounts will automatically downgrade to the free, ad-supported tier. Users must re-subscribe to maintain their Premium membership after their previous paying month ends. Spotify will offer alternative payment options like credit cards and PayPal to maintain their Premium subscription. The decision comes as Spotify has been critical of Apple’s “tax” on App Store sales and accused of anti-competitive behavior.