Rashomon story by Apple and Spotify
Back in the early 2000’s I read a story in some tech magazine how streaming service was going to change the way we listened to music.
That time I had a huge collection of CD’s covered with dust and an external disc drive with numerous artists that I barely put on the playlist. I never listened to a majority of them. Finally, a few years after that reading, I moved all the CD’s into the basement and fully switched to music streaming services.
Just like each story, it has different angles and perspectives.
Like in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, both giants have theie own views of the topic, and it seems they are both right.
Apple has invested enormous money and efforts to create one of the best apps ecosystems. Of course, they set the rules in their app store, and every developer must strictly play according to them. In case of violating the rules, they have a full right to reject the app that doesn’t play by them.
According to Wikipedia at this moment the App Store has more than 1.5 million apps, and more than 100 billion copies of apps have been downloaded. For each sale or in-app purchase or subscription, Apple takes up to 30% fee.
The same situation is with Walmart and their suppliers. The store is giving them a place on shelves in exchange for some earnings.
They are pioneers of the streaming music service as we know it (and we love it). Great user experience in combination with the best sound quality (up to 320Kbs).
According to Spotify, at this moment they have more than 30 million of subscribers.
From the beginning, AppStore was one of the best sales channels.
But they don’t want to use in-app subscription anymore to avoid AppStore 30% fee.
In the latest app update, they forwarded users to their website and Apple has rejected update but they’ve kept Spotify on AppStore.
According to Spotify, Apple plays a bad game asking too much for their service.
Recode: “Spotify has distributed copies of the letter to some Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Apple, Amazon and Google for what she called anticompetitive practices; Warren said that “Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music.”
But the game does not end here.
Wall Street Journal has announced a story about Apple intending to buy Tidal. It is a music streaming service that is run by a famous rapper JayZ.
Apple is aware of Apple Music weakness but merging with Tidal can be a whole game change.
If this happened, Spotify would lose its advantage and would be kicked off AppStore because of violating AppStore Guidelines.
Both sides of the story have rights to complain about another side.
But if you are in the house you have to play according to the house rules or to get f*** out and play in some other place.