In an interview with Variety ahead of the companies Q2 earnings call on Thursday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek comments on the multiple investigations that Apple and big-tech are facing.
Most notably, the European Union is investigating the App Store mainly based on a complaint brought forward from Spotify themselves. Ek says that platforms need to see “real change,” that can enable “real competition”. Ek, the head of a company currently not facing any antitrust probes adds that “it’s great” that Apple is facing these investigations.
This is something we’ve talked about for quite some time as well but we feel there’s a real need for platform principles so about 20-25 years ago there were formed various rules around net neutrality that really dictated how the internet should work, and what happened with some of these platforms is it’s put some of those things out of place. I think it’s great that Congress and the government are looking into this right now because generally speaking tech companies are obviously more influential and we now have close to half if not two-thirds of the world’s individuals on the internet, many of them using these smartphones and these platforms. So I think it’s great that the U.S. Congress is looking into this as well as the E.U. Our view is that we need some real platform principles that enable these platforms to be open so that real competition can happen and companies like Spotify and other start-ups are able to build businesses and compete for those customers’ attention time and wallets so that we can have a thriving marketplace.
Spotify and Apple have been in a tense relationship over the Apple ecosystem. Apple maintains strict control over its software, a behavior that Spotify claims puts it to a disadvantage. Apple Music, Spotify’s main competitor has much deeper system integrations due to it being Apple’s own service.
Things such as natural Siri commands, or the ability for users to set a default music app all limit Spotify’s competitive advantage over Apple Music. But, things are changing. In an interview earlier this year Ek says that Apple and the ecosystem is changing, but not fast enough.
The remarks come on the hell fo what will be a firestorm of a hearing on Wednesday on Capital Hill where the CEOs of the world’s biggest tech-giants will go toe-to-toe with lawmakers. Apple CEO Tim Cook will face questions about the App Store, it’s “copy, acquire, kill” strategy,. and more.
Apple Terminal will be providing full coverage of the hearint here on appleterm.com, and on our Twitter @AppleTerminal.