Is Apple blocking Spotify’s growth plan?

A bad buying experience is pressing pause on the audio giant’s next chapter.

Singdhi Sokpo

“You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it’s not ideal.”

That’s the lone, blunt message Spotify now shows to anyone trying to buy an audiobook in its iOS app.

Spotify has seen quarter after quarter of uninterrupted growth, but the company believes audiobooks, which represent 6%-7% of the $140B global book industry, are needed for its next phase. Last month, the company began offering 300k+ titles.

The problem, according to Spotify…

… is that Apple makes it extremely difficult for people to actually buy one. So difficult, in fact, Spotify made a website about it.

  • Since Spotify chooses not to process purchases through Apple, which charges up to 30% fees, it’s subject to strict App Store guidelines barring it from offering or directing users toward a different payment processor.

The result: Without direction, you have to leave the app, find the book on Spotify’s website, and purchase it there.

For listeners, until either company budges, Spotify’s audiobook experience will likely remain “not ideal.”

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