Spotify to offer audiobooks and subscriptions in Europe, bypassing Apple’s fees

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Spotify announced on Wednesday that starting in March, its European users will be able to purchase audiobooks and subscription plans directly within the music-streaming app. This move comes as a result of the region’s new competition law for Big Tech, which aims to create a more level playing field for digital services.

One of the key motivations behind this decision is to avoid the 30% fee that Apple charges for purchases made through its App Store. This fee has been a point of contention between app developers and Apple for some time. Spotify, in particular, has been involved in a legal battle with Apple, alleging that the App Store rules forced it to increase the price of its monthly subscriptions to cover these costs.

The news of Spotify’s expansion into audiobooks and subscription sales was well-received by investors, with the company’s U.S.-listed shares rising around 2% following the announcement.

In a blog post, Spotify expressed its excitement about the new possibilities that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) will bring. The DMA requires all Big Tech firms to treat their own products and services the same way they treat those of their competitors. This means that Spotify will now be able to share details about deals, promotions, and payment options more freely within the EU.

However, not everyone is happy about these developments. Apple has reportedly expressed its intention to challenge the European Union’s decision to include the entire App Store in the bloc’s new digital antitrust list. Additionally, Apple is facing a lawsuit worth around $1 billion from over 1,500 app developers over its App Store rules.

Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, also weighed in on the matter, expressing support for more competition in the app distribution space. The company stated that developers deserve more options for distributing their apps to users.

Overall, Spotify’s decision to offer audiobooks and subscriptions within its app marks a significant development in the ongoing debate over app store fees and competition in the digital marketplace. With the DMA set to come into effect soon, it will be interesting to see how other tech companies adapt to the new regulatory landscape in Europe.

(Source: Axios | Reuters | Spotfy Newsroom | Billboard | Digital Trends)

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