Spotify and Apple are going to war over audiobooks controversy

(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify is taking its fight with Apple over audiobooks public.

According to The Telegraph, the No.1 music streamer is calling Britain's top watchdog group to investigate Cupertino's decision to block updates to its new audiobooks service. The move comes just days after Apple began rejecting iOS Spotify app updates that included the ability to purchase audiobooks. 

According to a source, the Swedish music company has met with Britain's Competition and Markets Authority over the issue. 

The problem

Spotify audiobooks messagae

(Image credit: iMore)

Initially, Spotify attempted to add a buy button to its App Store app for users to purchase audiobooks. The button allowed users to make purchases outside of the app so Spotify could avoid Apple's commission. But, not surprisingly, Apple kept rejecting Spotify app updates that included this feature.

Last week, Spotify threw in the towel and removed the buy button. Instead, users of the Spotify app on iPhone now see the message, "You can't buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it's not ideal." However, as reported, the company stopped short of pointing the finger at Apple. 

Spotify users can still purchase audiobooks from the company's website; those purchases will appear in the iPhone app. 

Last week, however, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek accused Apple of "choking competition" and making its audiobook product worse.

Undoubtedly, Apple's biggest beef is Spotify's decision not to allow in-app purchases for audiobooks. But, of course, Apple also sells audiobooks via the Books app

There's no telling what happens now. However, it's clear consumers are the biggest losers because of the confusion. 

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.