In a bold move against Apple's App Store policies, Spotify has announced plans to introduce a subscription model within its app that bypasses the App Store, amidst the backdrop of the European Union's significant €1.84 billion fine against Apple for "abusing its dominant position."

Spotify pricing plans in the app
Image: Spotify

This decision comes as a direct response to the EU's critique of Apple's restrictive rules, which have historically limited third-party developers from informing users about alternative, more affordable streaming services outside the iOS ecosystem. Apple, in turn, has issued is own statement on the matter.

Apple to Allow Third-Party App Stores and Payment Options in the EU
Users will be able to download approved alternative app marketplaces and set them as the default option on their devices. Developers can also choose to use third-party payment systems without paying an additional fee to Apple.

Spotify's proposed update aims to include in-app pricing information and direct links to external resources for subscription sign-ups, effectively offering an alternative to the traditional App Store payment route. This strategy not only promises to provide transparency regarding subscription costs but also seeks to empower users with more choices regarding their streaming services. The update is currently awaiting Apple's approval, which, if granted, would mark a significant shift in how European users interact with subscription-based apps on iOS devices.

The European Commission's ruling highlights a growing demand for digital market fairness and the dismantling of monopolistic practices that hinder competition and innovation. By challenging Apple's long-standing anti-steering provisions, Spotify is taking full advantage of the ruling to enhance its visibility and accessibility within the EU, potentially setting a precedent for other developers facing similar restrictions.

Spotify’s TV App Gets a Revamp with Dark Mode and Account Switching
The Home page has been redesigned, mirroring the mobile and desktop app layouts. You’ll find shortcuts to your favorites, recently played tracks, and personalized recommendations conveniently at the top of the Home page.

While Apple has made concessions in the past, such as allowing certain apps to link to their websites for subscriptions, restrictions have remained on communicating subscription costs directly within apps. Spotify's move could catalyze further changes in App Store policies, particularly in how companies are allowed to engage with their customers within their apps.