Apple said to be pushing for end of free streaming on Spotify and others

Ahead of Apple's expected reveal of a revamped Beats Music music service, the U.S. Department of Justice is said to be investigating Apple's business practices when surrounding streaming music. Apple is reportedly pushing music labels not to renew agreements that allow Spotify to offer their catalogs for free, according to The Verge:

Apple has been using its considerable power in the music industry to stop the music labels from renewing Spotify's license to stream music through its free tier. Spotify currently has 60 million listeners, but only 15 million of them are paid users.

The company's efforts are also reportedly extending to YouTube in an attempt to get labels to remove their music from Google's service.

Apple is said to be highly aggressive about their new music service, which will reportedly see its debut as soon as WWDC 2015 in June. They have reportedly pursuing deals with artists for exclusive albums, going so far as to try and poach artists from rival music service Tidal.

Source: The Verge

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Reads as market manipulation and collaboration to me. Guess they didn't learn anything after their attempt to manipulate the ebook market.
  • The record companies themselves are responsible for the devaluing of music. Sent from the iMore App
  • Beats Music = Epic Fail
  • I wish it was fully free ;-( I liked it but I o lay got 2 days free Sent from the iMore App
  • Hope it goes just like tidal
  • I love my apple products and I love Spotify premium on my iPhone. I have no interest in leaving Spotify for apples music service. I'll go back to illegal downloading if apple fucks things up Sent from the iMore App
  • All I can think is WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? At the height of Apple's popularity, the executive team has devised the perfect way to make everyone in the world (and young people especially) hate Apple.
  • It's not surprising as they did the exact same thing with eBooks. Good luck with this Apple and enjoy losing another antitrust lawsuit.
  • In terms of vendor\partner strong arming, Apple is showing signs of becoming the WalMart of the tech industry. This is a big mistake. Next up, a push to ban radio signals... Posted via S6 Edge
  • There's also a blurb in the article about Apple trying to get Universal to drop YouTube support by paying it's licensing fees. Interesting. I'd rather see Apple compete on offering a better product - not this sort of manipulation.
  • Apple is becoming more like an evil empire every day. What a shame.
  • I was considering switching to Beats / Apple Music subscription - but no way am I going to switch to Apple's service now.
  • What a dick move, Apple.
    Tital 2.0
  • Assholes, don't they have enough FRIGGAN money???, music should be free than people will buy it if they choose too, Apple should stop fucking with things they have no right to be in, stick to devices Apple.
  • By the way All Beats products SUCK!!!!!!!
  • The worst thing that could happen is that Apple doesn't get held accountable for market manipulation by the DOJ. I say that as an Apple fan. Let's keep away from the evil empire space. Sent from the iMore App
  • The worst thing that could happen is that Apple doesn't get held accountable for market manipulation by the DOJ. I say that as an Apple fan. Let's keep away from the evil empire space. Sent from the iMore App
  • Not sure why that went up twice Sent from the iMore App
  • Not sure why that went up twice Sent from the iMore App
  • I have that issue from the app from time to time, too
  • Re "Apple is said to be highly aggressive about their new music service..." ....there's a thin but real line between being "aggressive" and engaging in illegal (and highly unseemly) "restraint of trade." Ickiest (if as reported) Apple move of the Cook era to date.....
  • I have such mixed feelings about this. On one hand, Apple needs to back off pressuring other companies. Let competition decide the winners and losers, not corporate chicanery. On the other hand, the expectation of free music has been and remains a total mystery to me. Spotify is less than $10 a month for almost any song or album you could possibly want, saved to your phone or computer at a higher quality than if you purchased it from iTunes. And that's not to even mention the free service, from Spotify or Rdio or Rhapsody or whomever, which is such a value that it boggles the mind. I don't know. I dislike the pressure that Apple is able to bring, and I dislike the notion that free music is our birthright. Somewhere there must be middle ground. Sent from the iMore App
  • Its an interesting question, but I think the idea of free music comes from listening to the radio. Its obvious that there is a huge difference in the value mucisians put on music and the value listeners are willing to pay. Serious musicians may spend months on a single track that will be consumed in a little over 3 minutes by a listener that, most of the time, will not even be paying that much attention to what he/she is listening to. I think most Spotify or Rdio users are not gourmet lisneters that will hang on every word or melody, but people driving, working or running that will not be able to recall what song has just played. For this audience, the $10 a month price range is perfectly reasonable for the service that's being provided. Added to the fact that most albums nowadays have two good tracks for every ten fillers, and thus the fillers are what we mostly get in services like Spotify, the middle ground becames harder and harder to find.
  • Totally agree with the radio comment. But radio only plays what THEY want you to hear. Even the free subscription services allow you to listen on demand, which to me is simply astounding. Any song you want, at any time, FREE? With very few, and very short, commercials between songs. Maybe I'm just too jaded, but it seems as if there's no way the music industry, or at least the artists, can survive on that business model.
  • I don't want to believe this one. You would think that Apple would stay out of any issue that looks like they are up to "dirty/non-competitive" tricks as they were found guilty of in the eBook lawsuits (which I am still not 100% convinced of guilt, but assume for sake of argument they were). ESPECIALLY since they are trying to get rid of the monitor. On the flip side, it isn't out of the realm of possibility that the governments are irritated with Apple's bank accounts, and want to find a way (fines) to get some of what they feel they are owed. But that seems unlikely, too. Could this just be someone accusing Apple (a competitor, for instance) off the record because of their perceived past indiscretions? Sort of like how it doesn't matter if the Wells report comes back as clearing the Patriots 100%, there are some who will never believe it because of (again, similar to Apple and eBooks) some past perceived wrong doing?
  • If this is true: SHUT IT, APPLE!! This reeks of evil corporate empire.
  • You'd think Apple would be smarter than this. Don't think it'll actually come to anything though, seeing as the DOJ are (according to the articles) already keeping a close eye on the situation.
  • All streaming services are inherently unsustainable. Whether you like it or not, a vibrant organized record industry is needed. I am not interested in 1 million indies
  • ....and you think the record industry before streaming services was vibrant and organized?
  • Apple is supposed to be the good guys, right? The anti-Microsoft?