Spotify has begun informing users who have subscribed to its Premium service via Apple’s in-app purchase system that this payment method will no longer be supported. Although Spotify ceased accepting new subscriptions through Apple’s in-app purchase platform in 2016, users who had already set up their payment via this method were allowed to continue until the present.
As per Variety’s report, Spotify is contacting the affected subscribers via email regarding this impending change. The email states, “Your Spotify Premium subscription was initially set up through Apple’s billing service, which we unfortunately no longer support as a payment option.” Consequently, Spotify plans to transition these users to its free, ad-supported tier after the current billing cycle concludes. The email further instructs, “To maintain your Premium subscription, you will need to re-subscribe once your final billing period ends and your account has transitioned to the Free tier.”
This modification might actually be beneficial for subscribers. As Apple charges a 30% fee on in-app purchases, Spotify users subscribed through this method had been paying an additional $3 monthly, as opposed to direct Spotify subscriptions. Even though Apple now deducts a commission of 15% on subscriptions after the first year, it previously collected the 15% fee from approximately 680,000 Spotify customers, as disclosed in a 2019 regulatory filing. Users shifting from Apple’s payment system can alternatively subscribe to Premium using a credit card or PayPal.
Both Apple and Google levy a “fee” on their respective app stores, irrespective of whether a user is buying apps or subscribing via in-app purchase. In the previous year, Google announced a pilot program to introduce third-party billing systems on Android, starting with a system called User Choice Billing (UCB) for Spotify. This new billing system started rolling out to Spotify users later in the year. However, the proportion of users subscribing via UCB as compared to Google’s standard in-app purchase system remains unclear. While rumors suggest Apple may allow third-party app stores on iOS, no official plans for this or for accepting third-party billing have been announced.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spotify Payment Change
What change is Spotify making to its payment system?
Spotify is discontinuing support for payments made through Apple’s App Store for its Premium service. Users who had subscribed via this method will be transitioned to the free, ad-supported tier after their current billing cycle ends.
How will Spotify’s payment change affect existing subscribers?
Existing subscribers who had set up their payments through Apple’s App Store will be affected. These users will be shifted to Spotify’s free, ad-supported tier at the end of their current billing cycle. They will need to re-subscribe to the Premium service using another payment method if they wish to continue with the subscription.
What options do users have to pay for Spotify Premium after this change?
After this change, users can pay for Spotify Premium using either a credit card or PayPal.
Why is Spotify stopping payments through Apple’s App Store?
Although not specifically stated by Spotify, one of the possible reasons could be the fees Apple charges on in-app purchases. Apple takes a 30% cut from these purchases, which led to Spotify users paying an additional $3 per month if they were subscribed through the App Store.
Is Google making changes to its billing system as well?
Yes, Google has announced a pilot program called User Choice Billing (UCB) to allow third-party billing systems on Android. This new billing system began rolling out to Spotify users late last year. However, it remains unclear how many users are subscribing via UCB compared to Google’s standard in-app purchase system.
More about Spotify Payment Change
- Spotify Official Website
- Apple’s App Store Guidelines
- Variety’s Report on Spotify’s Payment Change
- Google’s Announcement on User Choice Billing
(Note: As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, I can’t provide accurate URLs for articles or pages created after this date. The URLs above are generic and may not lead to the exact pages that discuss these topics.)