With the announcement of the Apple One subscription service, Spotify quickly voiced their opinion on the new option.
Once again, Apple is using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favoring its own services. We call on competition authorities to act urgently to restrict Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, which if left unchecked, will cause irreparable harm to the developer community and threaten our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create, and connect.
Spotify has a history of launching complaints to the European Union over antitrust behaviors from Apple.
What is Apple One?
Apple One is a new bundled subscription service that is coming from Apple this fall. It offers various bundles depending on the tier selected. There are three tiers to Apple One
Individual – This tier includes subscriptions for a single person to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 500 GB of iCloud storage. This subscription costs $14.95 per month.
Family – The family tier is essentially the same as the individual tier. The exceptions are the Apple Music subscription is the family plan, so it can be shared with five other people and the iCloud storage is increased to 200 GB. This subscription costs $19.95 per month.
Premier – this is the comprehensive plan. It takes the family plan and adds 2 TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+. This subscription costs $29.95 per month.
What are these services?
Bundles are generally designed to save you money while offering a single bill, but should you bundle? We will break down each service and how much they cost individually.
Apple Music – Apple Music is Apple’s streaming music service. Like Spotify, this service offers a huge streaming library of music for subscribers to stream or download to their content. An individual subscription to Apple Music runs $9.99 a month (4.99 a month with a student plan). If you are looking to share a subscription with up to 6 other people, the family plan will cost $14.99 per month.
Apple TV+ – Apple TV+ is Apple’s subscription TV service. To be clear this is not an Over The Top Live TV streaming service, but instead like a premium channel like HBO or Showtime. Apple TV+ subscriptions to this will take $4.99 a month out of your wallet.
Apple Arcade – Apple Arcade is a subscription service that gives you access to a pool of exclusive games that are available for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and macOS. These games are playable across all devices and utilize iCloud to save progress between the devices. The games have no in-app purchases and no ads in-game. This subscription runs $4.99 per month.
iCloud – iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage solution. It offers central storage shared between all of your Apple devices and/or family members.. iCloud storage comes in four different storage subscriptions
- 5 GB – The free plan for all users with an Apple ID.
- 50 GB – This plan offers 50 GB of shared storage at a $0.99 monthly rate.
- 200 GB – This plan gives you 200 GB while lightening your wallet of $2.99 per month.
- 2 TB – A huge jump in storage. 10x that of the previous plan for 3x more. $9.99 per month.
Apple News+ – Apple News+ is a subscription news service that gives you unlimited access to over 300 newspapers and magazines including The New Yorker, National Geographic, TIME, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, People, Car and Driver, WIRED, Bon Appétit, Sports Illustrated, O, The Oprah Magazine. Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month.
Fitness+ by Apple is an unreleased subscription workout service that uses your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to display the workout while your Apple Watch tracks your progress through the workout. The service offers a range of exercises as well as trainers to lead you. This subscription will cost you $9.99 a month once it is available.
The point for a consumer to purchase a bundle is to save a few bucks. Here’s how much these services cost if purchased independently and how much you can potentially save by bundling them.
Do I Always Save?
With all that being said, it is possible to not save money by purchasing one of these bundles. If you are just looking for Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, none of these bundles are going to save you money. However, if you are looking to buy Apple Music with any other service, you are going to at least break even.
Back to Spotify
What’s Spotify’s issue with Apple offering a better deal to potential customers? Spotify already believes that Apple intentionally makes it harder for end-users to select their premium music service when compared to Apple Music. Since Apple Music comes bundled on with Apple’s device and is not limited by App Store rules, Spotify believes that this gives Apple Music an unfair advantage in competition. If you combine this with offering a discount by purchasing more services, you can see how Spotify might be a little nervous.
Why the EU instead of the US?
There are two reasons behind this. First, Spotify is a Swedish company. It would seem to make sense that they would take advantage of their location for the second reason. The EU tends to find anticompetitive behavior where the US typically would not.
In the US when attempting to prove anticompetitive behavior, you essentially have to prove that the behavior would be harmful to consumers. Since bundles focus on saving consumers money and simplifying their billing. Since this is proven difficult to do, it makes sense to save time and money and focus on the EU courts.
What Does Foxx Say?
As a self-labeled Apple Fanboy, I feel like it is a no-brainer that I would be excited about this upcoming bundle. I’m currently subscribed to Spotify ($14.99), Apple TV ($4.99) Apple Arcade ($4.99), and the 2 TB iCloud storage plan ($9.99). This already puts me at $35 a month I’m paying to apple for these services and as someone who is looking for a high tech and affordable way to improve my health, the Fitness+ ($9.99) is going to be a part of my subscription as soon as it is available.
As far as the EU investigation goes, I am not concerned with the results. Based on what has happened with Microsoft in the EU, I can see something coming down that prevents Apple from being able to bundle Apple Music with the rest of the subscription services. While this removes the biggest bill from the bundle, I don’t believe it immediately kills the point of the bundle and that it will still be offered in the EU, even if in a reduced capacity.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment below!