Spotify Cuts Off Existing App Store Subscribers As Ongoing Feud With Apple Continues

Spotify ends App Store subscriptions grandfathering
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Spotify ends App Store subscriptions grandfathering
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Spotify is cutting off existing App Store subscribers as the platform no longer accepts Apple’s billing service as a valid form of payment, even for legacy customers.

Spotify has long railed against Apple’s “tax” on purchases made through its App Store and hasn’t let new Premium subscribers pay for the streaming service using in-app purchases through Apple’s App Store since May 2016. From June 2014 to May 2016, Spotify Premium subs could opt to sign up and pay through Apple’s billing service. Now, Spotify is notifying those customers they must choose an alternative payment method.

In recent emails to those subscribers, Spotify said, “When you joined Spotify Premium, you used Apple’s billing service to subscribe. Unfortunately, we no longer accept that billing method as a form of payment.”

The email explains that at the end of the final billing period, their account will “automatically switch to our Free, ad-supported service” and that customers who wish to keep their Premium subscription will need to re-subscribe using one of the payment methods Spotify accepts, including credit cards and PayPal.

A spokesperson for Spotify revealed that the company recently began notifying “a small number of users that a legacy payment method that their Premium account is attached to is being deprecated. Users notified by email will automatically move to a Free account from their next billing cycle. Users will then have the option to upgrade to a Premium account by logging into their account at”

“These actions will help ensure that we can continue to provide a consistent best-in-class subscription experience for all our users,” the Spotify spokesperson added.

Spotify has had an ongoing feud with Apple, having accused Apple of employing anticompetitive tactics with its app store policies. In 2019, Spotify filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, charging that Apple unfairly limits choice and competition through its App Store. 

While Spotify has also objected to Google’s Play Store policies, which take a percentage fee of purchases, the two companies announced a multiyear agreement giving users who have downloaded the Spotify Android app from the Google Play Store the choice to pay with either Spotify’s payment system or Google Play Billing.

Few users will be affected by Spotify’s altogether ending support for Apple in-app purchases. In a 2019 regulatory filing, Apple said it collected a 15% fee on subscription payments for just 680,000 of Spotify’s more than 100 million Premium subscribers.