Meta, Spotify Blast App Store Policies

Topline

Apple’s recent decisions regarding its App Store have sparked an angry backlash against the company from several app developers, including tech giants like Meta and Spotify, who accuse the iPhone maker of use its market dominance to undermine its rivals.

Highlights

In a strongly worded blog post published Tuesday evening, Spotify again accused Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior by using “complicated and confusing” rules on its app store to disadvantage competitors.

Highlighting problems with its recent launch of audiobooks on its platform, Spotify said that Apple, which also sells audiobooks, rejected the purchase process offered on its app three times and canceled it. obliged to adopt a more cumbersome method.

Spotify says Apple’s rules and 30% commission on all in-app sales prevent it from displaying audiobook prices on its app because it has to force customers to request a payment link for e-books -mail.

Social media giant Meta has also criticized Apple’s recent decision to charge a 30% commission on sales of “boosts” for social media posts – which will impact content promoted on Instagram and Facebook. – by forcing these social apps to use Apple’s own in-app payment. system.

In a statement shared with The Verge, Meta accused Apple of “undermining others in the digital economy” and reneging on its earlier promise not to cut ad revenue from developers.

Meta says the biggest impact of Apple’s move will be felt by small businesses and influencers who rely on Facebook’s app to promote their posts instead of the big advertisers who work directly with the social giant.

crucial quote

“Apple continues to disadvantage its competitors, and the impact is enormous – on consumers, app developers, and now, authors and publishers. …. I can’t be the only one to see the absurdity,” Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify tweeted.

Peg News

Even as it clashes with Facebook over ads, Apple is trying to grow its own ad business. Earlier this week, Apple started showing more ads on the iPhone App Store. However, several users and developers raised concerns about the sheer volume of gambling ads appearing on the App Store after the update. Marco Arment, Tumblr’s former chief technology officer and developer of popular podcasting app Overcast, complained on Twitter that he “really disagreed” with gambling ads appearing on his app’s product page. “The App Store has corrupted such a big company so deeply,” Arment added. John Gruber, who writes the Apple blog Daring Fireball tweeted“If these App Store ads were in our inboxes, we’d report them all as spam.”

Key context

Meta and Spotify have clashed with Apple on several occasions over its App Store policies in recent years. Earlier this year, Meta acknowledged that it expects a $10 billion impact from Apple’s recent sweeping privacy changes that undermine the effectiveness of targeted advertising by limiting the tracking of user behavior on multiple apps. Apple has tried to position itself as a champion of user privacy, but critics have argued it was simply trying to earn its own share of the online advertising business dominated by rivals Meta and Google. Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk, who is in the process of buying Twitter, has also expressed concern on Apple’s recent changes to the App Store, changes that will almost certainly affect Twitter’s business. Spotify has frequently clashed with Apple over its dual role as arbiter of App Store rules and competitor to other app makers. Spotify has long argued that Apple’s 30% commission on in-app sales gives advantages to its own services like Apple Music over third-party competitors. In 2020, the EU announced that it had opened an investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices by Apple. The investigation is still ongoing.

Contra

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live event on Tuesday, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said his recent changes will spur innovation in the online advertising space by stating, “We felt in the long run that quality advertising and product privacy could co-exist, there would be innovation, part of us, part of others. Federighi acknowledged that Apple remains uncertain about the short-term impact of its decisions.

Further reading

Developers complain about game ads appearing in their App Store listings (MacRumors)

Apple’s new App Store ad tax directly targets Meta (The Verge)

About Sandra A. Powell

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