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Spotify tells users paying the “Apple tax” how to save three dollars a month

By | Published on Friday 10 July 2015


Spotify is seemingly in the process of proactively telling premium subscribers who signed up to the service via its iOS app that they are paying extra each month because Apple charges a 30% cut on any transactions that go through its platform, and Spotify’s margins are so tight that it has to pass on that cost to the customer.

It means that a US subscriber who would be paying $9.99 if they had signed up via Spotify’s own website is paying $12.99 a month to access the streaming music platform. Those who subscribe via – avoiding the “apple tax” – can still access the service via the iOS app once signed up, Apple only takes a cut if actual transactions take place via the iPhone, not if services paid for elsewhere are delivered through the Apple device.

An email published by The Verge, which is seemingly being sent to users currently paying the extra monthly charge, explains in detail how customers currently paying the additional Apple fee can switch their account to secure the $9.99 rate. It does involve closing and re-opening an account, so isn’t a seamless process, but is still worth doing given the saving.

Of course, the customer comms exercise is being spun as an attack on Apple Music, Spotify no longer wanting its now head-on rival to cash in on its own customers, nor its iPhone-owning subscribers to assume that Spotify premium is more expensive than Apple Music’s on-demand streaming service (which will also be $9.99 a month once the free trials are over).

Though, while the email may be in part motivated by the launch of Apple Music, any Spotify user paying the extra three dollars each month is an idiot, so the streaming service could say it’s just providing extra support for the idiots among its paying userbase.