Spotify’s In-app purchase is coming to Europe in March

Spotify is preparing to bypass Apple’s App Store payment system for iPhone users in Europe, a move triggered by the EU’s recently implemented Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Starting in March, European Spotify users will be able to purchase subscriptions and audiobooks directly within the app, bypassing the 30% commission Apple typically takes on in-app transactions.

This marks a significant victory for Spotify, which has long criticized Apple’s App Store fees as anticompetitive and stifling innovation.

The DMA is specifically designed to combat such practices by “gatekeeper” platforms like Apple, granting developers greater freedom to offer alternative payment options and link users to external websites.

“For years Apple had these rules where we couldn’t tell you about offers, how much something costs, or even where or how to buy it,” Spotify said in a blogpost.

“The DMA (Digital Markets Act) means that we’ll finally be able to share details about deals, promotions, and better-value payment options in the EU.”

For European Spotify subscribers, the change could translate to lower subscription costs. By avoiding Apple’s cut, Spotify may have more pricing flexibility, potentially offering discounts or exclusive deals for users who purchase directly within the app.

Additionally, a smoother purchase experience within the app itself could boost user engagement and conversion rates.

However, the full picture remains somewhat unclear. Apple maintains that its App Store fees are necessary to maintain a secure and trusted platform, and it’s currently unclear whether the DMA actually compels them to allow external payment systems.

Meanwhile, in November 2023, Apple had plans to challenge the European Union’s decision to put all of App Store into the bloc’s new digital antitrust list.

On Tuesday, Apple asked a London tribunal to throw out a mass lawsuit worth around $1 billion brought on behalf of more than 1,500 app developers over its App.

Whether Apple will fully comply with the new regulations, or find loopholes to maintain its App Store dominance, remains to be seen.

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