Spotify has tried to frame Apple as anticompetitive
Apple and Spotify are in talks about potentially enabling Siri to play songs, albums, and playlists from the leading subscription music service. A new report from The Information confirms that Spotify would be taking advantage of new capabilities that Apple is introducing in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, which allow other apps to be on equal footing with Apple Music when making music requests through the company’s Siri voice assistant. If Spotify takes advantage of the new tools, you’ll be able to play music without having to open the app on your iPhone or iPad.
The integration could be a sign of progress between two companies that have butted heads to a more heated degree than ever before over the last year. In March, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint with the EU that accused Apple of disadvantaging third-party services that compete with its own apps. Among other gripes (such as Apple’s subscription tax), Spotify pointed to hands-free Siri compatibility as one convenient feature that Apple was reserving for its own Apple Music service.
Both companies have set up websites to lay out their respective arguments. Spotify has its “Time to Play Fair” page, and Apple responded to that with a lengthy public defense of App Store policies and practices. The company has also tried to point out flaws in Spotify’s accusations.
But when it announced iOS 13 in June, Apple laid the groundwork for Siri to also work with rival music services, thanks to new SiriKit updates that are built into the upcoming operating systems. This took away one of Spotify’s examples of Apple being anticompetitive, though others remain. You still can’t choose Spotify as your default music app, for example.
The Information pointed out a recent change in language on Spotify’s site about Siri support in particular:
Apple won’t allow us to be on HomePod and they definitely won’t let us connect with Siri to play your jams.
Only recently, Apple announced that it will let us connect with Siri to play your jams…but fails to mention our name (“I want to play [X] on Spotify”) and your HomePod will default to Apple Music.
So Spotify knows it has the new tools at its disposal and can solve for the long-standing and frustrating lack of Siri voice commands. The company hasn’t confirmed whether it plans to have an app update ready for when iOS 13 ships to consumers this fall.