A Tale of Two Spotifys? After a Bitter Defeat Against Apple In the US, Spotify Plots a Different App Experience In Europe

Spotify Europe
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Photo Credit: Felipe Pelaquim

Spotify is returning its focus to the European market following serious roadblocks in the U.S. surrounding its efforts to end the ‘Apple Tax.’ Spotify was once a European exclusive service—now some features will only be available there again.

The company says one of the biggest complaints about its service has been out of its hands due to how Apple handles its payment systems on iOS. But after suffering a difficult defeat recently in the US, Spotify is shifting its attention to Europe with entirely different features and capabilities.

The company says beginning March 7, Europeans will begin seeing changes in Spotify as the Digital Markets Act begins rolling out. The first of those is alerting customers about special offers, how much things cost—and where to buy them.

“An easier experience for you means good things for artists, listeners, concert-goers, and audiobook-loving fans,” Spotify says. “All of this can now come without the burden of a mandatory ~30% tax imposed by Apple, which is now prohibited under the DMA.”

Spotify says the removal of the Apple Tax in the EU means several changes are coming for its European customers. They’ll begin to receive direct communications in the Spotify app about subscription offerings, upgrades, product prices, deals, and promotions. But it also means Spotify can offer superfan clubs and other new features that the United States won’t see.

“Thanks to the DMA we’re looking forward to a future of superfan clubs, alternative app stores, and giving creators the ability to safely download Spotify for Artists or Spotify for Podcasters directly from our site,” Spotify says. But it also notes that while these changes are great for its bottom line and European customers—they should be available everywhere.

“If you live outside certain markets, you will continue to encounter frustrating roadblocks because of Apple’s ridiculous rules,” Spotify says. That’s partially because while Apple has loosened App Store rules to allow third-party payments—it also introduced a new fee and several hurdles to make it unlikely developers will want to use a third-party payment method. For now, it’s looking like Spotify is returning to its early days, with Europe the focus for development of new features.