Spotify Fending Off Apple Attacks

Though it’s been hard to pin down an exact amount raised in Spotify’s most recent round of funding – reports range from between $350 million and $400 million – there’s no question the money could come in handy when it comes to fending off attacks from Apple.

Apple has been pushing record labels to kill off the free streaming tier offered by Spotify in advance of the launch of its own streaming service, Sources reportedly close to the matter told tech site The Verge that Apple hopes to snag a bunch of new users when it debuts, which reportedly could be as early as June, so long as the labels agree to pull the plug on the free tier.

The sources also noted Apple has offered to pay YouTube’s licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label would stop allowing its songs to play on YouTube. Meanwhile Apple is getting some scrutiny in the U.S. from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission over the relaunch of the Beats streaming service, and overseas the European Union’s Competition Commission is reportedly investigating its attempts to do away with free streaming. As for Spotify, sources told The Verge that Apple’s war on free streaming isn’t the company’s biggest concern. It appears Spotify is also irked over the fact that Apple charges a 30 percent fee on sales of any app through its store.

That means that if Spotify decided to move to subscription-only services for streaming, it would have to charge $12.99 per month for its $9.99 per month service to break even, leaving Apple with the advantage of being able to charge less for streaming services of its own. “They control iOS to give themselves a price advantage,” a source told the site. “Thirty percent doesn’t go to any artist, it doesn’t go to us, it goes to Apple.”