Spotify is set to boot legacy subscribers on the platform that are still paying through the Apple app store. After reportedly ending support for App Store subscriptions back in 2016, customers of Spotify Premium who still pay via Apple’s platform will automatically be moved to a free, ad-supported membership tier.
Spotify Legacy Subscribers
It’s been more than seven years since Spotify stopped letting new customers to subscribe to its Premium tier membership via Apple’s in-app purchase system, and right now the streaming giant is dropping support for the payment method completely. And as reported by Variety, Spotify has just recently emailed legacy Premium subscribers who are still paying via the Apple App Store to notify them that they will need to resubscribe to the service by making use of an alternative payment system, such as PayPal or a credit card, at the end of their last billing period.
“We’re contacting you because when you joined Spotify Premium you used Apple’s billing service to subscribe. Unfortunately, we no longer accept that billing method as a form of payment,” Spotify in the email said, informing customers that are affected that their account will be automatically switched to the free, ad-supported service of the platform after the final payment has been taken. “If you wish to keep your Premium subscription, you will need to re-subscribe after your last billing period has ended and your account has been moved on to the Free account.”
Spotify Has Started to Notify Users
In a statement to Variety, a spokesperson from Spotify confirmed that the company has begun notifying “a small number of users that a legacy payment method, that their Premium account is attached to, is being deprecated.” And according to the spokesperson, these very actions will “help ensure that [it] can continue to provide a consistent best-in-class subscription experience for all our users.”
Spotify Stopped Accepting Premium Subscriptions through the App Store In 2016
Spotify reportedly stopped accepting Premium subscriptions through the App Store in 2016 in order to avoid paying up to a 30 percent commission to Apple for in-app purchases, just under two years after the audio streaming firm had introduced the payment system directly to its platform. Customers who subscribed through the App Store were charged an additional $3 per month in a bid to prevent the fee from Apple from cutting into the revenue of Spotify.
Spotify however later filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union back in 2019, arguing that the iPhone maker’s App Store policies were hurting competition. The streamer also had taken issue with a similar fee for Google’s Play Store, but in the previous year, Spotify and Google announced a pilot program that would give Spotify customers the choice of paying by making use of either Spotify’s or Google’s payment system in select markets. Google is however still charging a fee for these very purchases, but has already said that it is reduced by 4 percent versus the standard rate.
How the Update to App Store Payments Will Affect Existing Customers
The update to App Store payments is very much unlikely to affect many of the existing customers of Spotify. And in 2019, Variety notes that Apple published a regulatory filing revealing that it had collected subscription payment fees for 680,000 Spotify subscribers which is less than one percent of Spotify’s 100 million Premium subs at that very time. As of the Q4 earnings report of Spotify for 2022, the service has since then surpassed 200 million paid subscribers.
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