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Elon Musk Along With Daniel Ek Spar With Apple Over Subscription Strangholds

Elon Musk slammed the App Store's guidelines the subscription model that Twitter has in store for company badges.

Elon Musk and Spotify Technology S.A. founder and CEO Daniel Ek once again slammed Apple Inc.’s App Store guidelines, referring to them as “absurd” and presenting a “serious scaling” problem. 

After introducing the Twitter “Subscriptions” feature earlier this month, Musk responded to inquiries from users explaining why subscriptions take longer to appear on iPhones than on the web. 

Twitter CEO Elon Musk holds one of his children after a keynote speech at the “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships,” marketing conference in Miami Beach, Florida, on April 18, 2023. Musk has sided with Daniel Ek of Spotify as they have sparred with Apple over subscription. CHANDAN KHANNA/BENZINGA

“This is absurd,” Ek said about the App Store. “How would this scale with every creator on every platform on the internet? And what about if a platform thought the right fee was 0% or 10% instead of Apple’s 30%?”

Spotify currently competes with Apple Music and Tidal in the music arena where the platform has an estimated 489 million listeners around the globe that include Europe and North America. Around 250 million users have the premium subscription. The streaming platform also includes podcasts that host prominent names including Joe Rogan, Lex Fridman, and Andrew Schultz.

According to Musk, the reason behind this delay is Apple because all “subscriptions currently have to be approved” by the tech giant. 

Spotify CEO then quote-tweeted Musk’s post, criticized Apple’s guidelines and called them “absurd,” to which the Twitter CEO responded, saying with a tweet, “This is becoming a serious scaling challenge.”

Twitter currently has an estimated 450 million users for its site amid the fall-outs from advertisers and users who have stopped using the platform. It’s popular among the media including public figures and celebrities.

Both Twitter and Spotify apps are used in iPhones and Android platforms.

Musk and Ek are referring to App Store guidelines regarding in-app subscriptions for digital content, which Twitter must comply with as these new subscriptions are accessible through the iPhone app, reported 9To5Mac.  

This isn’t the first time Musk and Ek have come together to criticize Apple’s App Store guidelines. In October last year, Ek accused Apple of continuing to “disadvantage competitors.” Musk responded to his remarks, saying it is a “concerning” issue.  

“Note, it takes a few days longer for subscriptions to go active on iPhone vs. web, as all subscriptions currently have to be approved by Apple,” Musk said about subscriptions.

There has been a longstanding conflict between Spotify and Apple concerning the 30% commission that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant levies on apps to sell their products and services on the App Store, as well as the regulations it imposes on such apps.

According to Apple, its payment system safeguards users against fraudulent activities, thereby ensuring the App Store is a secure platform for use.

Apple believes that the best iPhone is the one that is protected by the App Store with no side loading or payments outside its walled garden.

The tech giant had shortly paused advertising on Twitter amid fears of Musk allowing hate speech onto the platform.

Spotify is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Musk had purchased Twitter in late 2022.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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