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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Apple slams back at Spotify

Apple’s Bruce Sewell fired back at Spotify for publicly complaining about its iOS app being held up in app review:

The in-app purchase feature had been removed and replaced with an account sign-up feature clearly intended to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchase rules. That feature exists only for the purpose of avoiding having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website. A clear violation of the terms every other developer adheres to…. On June 10, Spotify submitted another version of the app which again incorporated the sign-up feature directing App Store customers to submit an email address so they could be contacted directly by Spotify in a continued attempt to get around our guidelines.

We can debate whether Apple’s guidelines should be loosened in terms of allowing apps to link to web pages offering alternate methods of paying for content, but it’s clear that Spotify engineered a confrontation with Apple here. Ironically, just before Apple announced a new program that will increase Spotify’s share of in-app subscription revenue to 85% for its loyal subscribers.