Spotify and Epic Games have both been waging an antitrust battle against Apple, with an EC complaint and lawsuit respectively. Now the pair have company in a new Coalition for App Fairness that they have co-founded to lobby their case for “freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem”.
Deezer is also on board, along with Tinder’s owner Match Group, enterprise software maker Basecamp and other companies.
The group has already published ’10 App Store Principles’ that set out its view of how these stores should work, which also functions as a summary of its complaints about Apple specifically, although some also relate to Google.
“The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said Spotify’s head of global affairs and chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez.
Apple continues to push back on these complaints with its arguments in favour of the way it runs its store and apps ecosystem.
A newly-launched page for developers brings these into one place, from the size of the apps economy (“in 2019 the App Store facilitated over $519bn in commerce globally”) to the scale of the store (“over 500m people visit the App Store each week… Apple has paid out over $155bn to developers since 2008”) and its services from marketing to reviewing bogus user reviews.
The battle for hearts and minds (and regulators) continues.
Spotify has been busy this week, too. Apart from co-founding the new coalition, it has also announced a deal with Hollywood firm Chernin Entertainment to adapt some of its original podcasts into TV shows and films.
It’s a reminder of another way that podcasts could pay off for Spotify besides advertising and user/subscriber retention: the shows it creates in-house could be valuable IP in their own right.
Meanwhile, Spotify has also created a ‘civic engagement toolkit‘ to help artists encourage their listeners to register and vote in the upcoming US elections, and launched a ‘Listen Alike‘ microsite encouraging Spotify users to see how their tastes match (or not) with various musicians, podcasters and influencers.
Oh, and CEO Daniel Ek yesterday announced plans to invest €1bn – reportedly a third of his personal wealth – in European startups, focusing on “moonshot” technology around health, education, AI and biotechnology. Like we said, a busy week.