Spotify Calls For Level Playing Field as Apple One Launches

Spotify Technology SA called out Apple Inc. after the launch of Apple One bundle. This came with the criticism the trillion-dollar worth company abuses its dominant market position to favor its homegrown music services.

The Swedish-developed app said that the new Apple offering is a disadvantage to music streaming rivals.

Spotify and Apple charge $10 a month for subscription-based music streaming. On the other hand, the Nasdaq’s frontrunner bundles the same service and attractive entertainment options such as television and video games for only $15 a month.

The firm’s Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel let out a bold statement following the event, saying that competition authorities should act urgently to restrict Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.

He warned that should similar circumstances go left unchecked, this could cause “irreparable” damage on the developer community. Moreover, it “threatens” collective rights to learn, create, and connect.

In response, Apple said that the new bundle aims to support existing users to enjoy and “discover” alternatives to every service they offer. This will make their patrons have more for less, especially targeting families.

Earlier in August, four of the biggest technology firms globally, namely Google’s parent Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, were summoned by the Congress over anti-trust allegations.

The four modern technology firms allegedly leveraged their market position to drive consumer behavior to their advantage. This happens by cultivating an anti-competitive market. But, they have all denied this.

Collectively, the involved companies are worth almost $5 trillion in combined market capitalization. Apple leads at $2 trillion, now considered as the biggest publicly traded firm surpassing the previous title holder, Saudi Aramco.

The companies’ stocks experienced unprecedented attention from the market during the pandemic, generating revenue majorly from premium consumer devices and ad-driven revenue.


Monopolistic Behavior Allegations

Spotify is not the first to accuse Apple Inc. of monopolistic behavior.

Last month, Epic Games topped technology news as it filed a lawsuit against the firm over the same allegations of competitive “bullying.”

This happened after its popular game Fortnite was booted out of App Store. This was because it offered its own payment option for game essentials that is considerably lower than is provided on the service platform.

To consider current market positioning, Spotify boasts 138 million paying subscribers, dwarfing Apple Music with only 60 million subscribers.

However, Apple Inc. has a much larger marketing power. Thus, they can push the new bundle hard into consumers due to its massive following.

To date, Spotify is no stranger to bundle offerings. It has existing partnerships with other technology firms. Its services have long been bundled with Hulu, AT&T, and directly installed on some Samsung phones.

In a statement released during the Goldman Sachs conference, Vogel added that Spotify anticipated Apple could go to such measures. They foreshadowed this based on its past behaviors.

Apple One will offer three packages on the coming fall in three tiers. Monthly subscriptions include Individual, Family, and Premier plans, which come with entertainment offerings and iCloud storage for $14.95, $19.95, and $29.95, respectively.

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