It’s been over seven years since Spotify stopped allowing new customers to sign up for its Premium tier membership through Apple’s in-app purchase system, and now the streaming giant is dropping support for the payment method. completely. As reported by VarietySpotify recently sent an email to legacy Premium subscribers who still pay through the Apple App Store notifying them that they will need to re-subscribe to the service using an alternative payment method, such as PayPal or a credit card, at the end of their last billing period. .
“We are contacting you because when you joined Spotify Premium you used Apple’s billing service to sign up. Unfortunately, we no longer accept that billing method as a form of payment,” Spotify said in the email, informing affected customers that their account will be automatically switched to the platform’s ad-supported free service after final payment has been made. . “If you want to keep your Premium subscription, you will need to re-subscribe after your last billing period has ended and your account has been downgraded to the free account.”
Only a small number of Spotify Premium subscribers are believed to still use the payment method.
In a statement to Variety, a Spotify spokesperson confirmed that the company has begun notifying “a small number of users that a legacy payment method, to which their Premium account is linked, is being deprecated.” According to the spokesperson, these actions “will help ensure that [it] can continue to provide a consistent, best-in-class subscription experience for all of our users.”
Spotify stopped accepting Premium subscriptions through the App Store in 2016 to avoid paying up to 30 percent commission to Apple for in-app purchases, just under two years after the audio streaming company introduced the payment system to its platform. Customers who subscribed through the App Store were charged an additional $3 per month to prevent Apple’s fee from affecting Spotify’s revenue.
Spotify later filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union in 2019, arguing that the iPhone maker’s App Store policies were hurting competition. The streamer also took issue with a similar fee for Google’s Play Store, but last year Spotify and Google announced a pilot program that would give Spotify customers the option to pay using Spotify’s payment system or Google in markets. selected. Google continues to charge a fee for these purchases, but has said it’s reduced by 4 percent against the standard rate.
The App Store payments update is unlikely to affect many of Spotify’s existing customers. In 2019, Variety notes that Apple published a regulatory filing revealing that it had charged subscription payment fees for 680,000 Spotify subscribers — less than one percent of Spotify’s 100 million Premium subscribers at the time. As of Spotify’s Q4 2022 earnings report, the service has surpassed 200 million paid subscribers.