Apple has rejected a new app update to the Spotify app three times last week, due to their new audiobook system. Spotify is selling audiobooks in the United States and is only allowing customers to make purchases on their website and then the audiobooks will be available to listen to in the app. However, Spotify is not using Apples in-app billing system for audiobook transactions, which is the crux of the issue.
Over the years, Apple and Spotify have had a long running dispute over Apple’s App Store policies, with multiple public conflicts over app and subscription fees and app rejections due to Spotify’s attempts to skirt the up to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from purchases. Apple says that Spotify is again trying to get around its App Store rules, and the Cupertino company claims that Spotify’s audiobooks update is not in line with guidelines that cover how apps can communicate with users about purchasing options outside of the App Store.
Spotify says Apple’s rules make the process of buying an audiobook on Spotify “far too complicated and confusing,” adding that Apple changes its “rules arbitrarily, making them impossible to interpret.” Apple charges up to a 30 percent commission on purchases made in apps listed on the App Store, and bars certain developers from using or directing users to an external payment processor.
I think Spotify is always trying to save money by skirting Apples policies which are clearly defined. Like, if you subscribe to Spotify through Apple it is more expensive, and cheaper if you subscribe through their website. Some news outlets are reporting that Apple is not mad about audiobooks available on their website, but they are not showing audiobook prices in the app, so it is impossible to shop for the best deals.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.