Spotify’s conflict with Apple has come to a head with the digital music service’s decision to end Apple in-app payment for existing premium subscribers.
Spotify recently contacted those subscribers via email to notify them of the change stating, “We’re contacting you because when you joined Spotify Premium, you used Apple’s billing service to subscribe. Unfortunately, we no longer accept that billing method as a form of payment.”
The email also noted that premium subscriber accounts will "automatically switch to Spotify’s free, ad-supported service" following their last billing period until they re-subscribe for a Premium account through a new payment method.
“These actions will help ensure that we can continue to provide a consistent best-in-class subscription experience for all our users,” explained a Spotify spokesperson in an official statement.
The move seems to mark Spotify officially cutting ties with Apple’s payment method and is a culmination of escalating tension between the two companies.
Spotify formerly filed an official complaint to the European Commission regarding Apple’s allegedly anticompetitive approach through the App Store and has spoken publicly about the tech company’s high-priced tax on purchases made through the App Store.
Although Apple has claimed to collect a 15% fee on subscription payments for just 680,000 of Spotify’s over 100 million subscribers, this seemed enough for Spotify to finally call it quits on the Apple in-app payment method for its subscribers.
This change in payment methods coincides with Spotify's reported plan to launch a premium subscription tier with high-fidelity audio at a higher price than its current premium package, yet another way that the platform may drive revenue in the future.