Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bruised $potify on My Apple

"You might be overpaying for streaming music" by Ryan Nakashima Associated Press  July 05, 2016

LOS ANGELES — When Lauren Higgins tried to sign up for Spotify’s premium plan on her iPhone, she was irked that the music service asked for $13 a month, $3 more than the gift subscription she had given her boyfriend.

‘‘I was pissed and I wasn’t going to do it,’’ said Higgins, a 25-year-old public-relations executive in New York.

She tweeted her annoyance. Within five minutes, a member of Spotify’s social media team reached out to tell her that she could get Spotify for a monthly $10 fee if she signed up on the web rather than through Apple. She did just that.

Call it a $3 tax on ignorance.

Some might call it picking you pocket.

Spotify says it charges a ‘‘significant’’ number of its 30 million paying subscribers $3 more per month because they sign up through Apple, which takes a cut of up to 30 percent. 

Everyone wants their goddamn cut of you.

Spotify says 70 percent of its revenue already goes to artists, recording labels and music publishers, so turning over another 30 percent to Apple would leave Spotify with nothing unless it passes along the fee to customers.

That's what YOU are left with, consumer.

Last July, Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota wrote to both the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into whether Apple was ‘‘engaging in anticompetitive behavior in the music streaming market’’ because of the fee and its app guidelines. The Justice Department directed inquiries to the FTC, which acknowledged receiving the letter but declined comment.

Apple has already come under fire about not allowing links to outside stores. It lost an e-books price-fixing case in 2013. Apple has appealed to the US Supreme Court, saying the case ‘‘presents issues of surpassing importance to the United States economy.’’

In response to all the criticism, Apple said in June that it would halve its 30-percent cut of in-app subscriptions if developers could hold onto subscribers longer than a year. For a $10 subscription, Apple’s cut would be $1.50 instead of $3.

And not everyone blames Apple, either.

Amber Bernardi-Eteuati, a 20-year-old aspiring filmmaker in Massachusetts, let her subscription to Spotify lapse last year when money was tight.

I'm thinking about it via the Globe. I was only kidding about striking it rich.

But she missed features like the ability to play songs from Sam Smith, Pentatonix, and other favorites on demand. When she peeked at the price on her iPhone, ‘‘I was in shock.’’

Reached on Twitter, Bernardi-Eteuati said she was mad at Spotify. ‘‘Passing the extra cost to customers and not just keeping it the price it’s always been is sneaky and if I understand it correctly, greedy,’’ she said.

It's called $tandard bu$$ine$$ practices.

She ended up getting a new subscription — but used her laptop to get the lower price....

Just lost the reception.


What is Apple want next for its cut, an organ?

Globe missed signing up.