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Spotify CEO's Apple Barb Backfires As Sonos Points Out The 'Solid Irony'

After Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) CEO Daniel Ek accused Apple Inc.

Benzinga · 05/08/2020 11:39

After Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) CEO Daniel Ek accused Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) of not being open-enough to third-party apps, Ek was criticized by the co-founder of speaker maker Sonos Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO) for similar practices.

What Happened

Spotify’s ecosystem is even more closed than that of Apple’s according to John MacFarlane, co-founder of Sonos. MacFarlane tweeted on Wednesday, “Solid irony here.” He elaborated, “Having worked closely with both Apple and Spotify, I would say it’s more significantly more difficult to work within Spotify’s “closed” ecosystem than Apple’s.” Ending the tweet on a conciliatory note he added, “Respect and appreciate both companies, but “open” Spotify is not.”

MacFarlane also provided the link to Bloomberg’s interview with Ek in his tweet. The Spotify CEO said in the interview that there had been encouraging signs from Apple like allowing Siri to control music services other than Apple Music. He attributed the changes to an antitrust complaint his company filed against the tech giant a year earlier with the European Union.

Why It Matters

Sweden-based Spotify has also criticized Apple for taking a 30% cut of subscriptions and accused Cupertino of limiting app updates and barring functionality on Apple Watch. In its complaint to the EU Spotify claimed that Apple was a platform provider and a competitor, which gives it an incentive to put rival services at a disadvantage, reported Bloomberg.

Ek revealed that restrictions put by Apple had  “a big business impact.” Apple’s HomePod speaker still does not support third-party music apps such as Spotify, and the default music app on iOS and iPadOS cannot be changed. Apple is expected to allow third-party apps on HomePod this year.

Ek made claims in the Bloomberg interview that Spotify is growing faster than Apple Music, and is twice its size, with three times the engagement.

(NASDAQ: SPOT) Price Action

On Thursday, Spotify shares closed 0.24% lower at $148.04.

 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash