Spotify CEO addresses what it’s like competing with Apple

Spotify announced on Monday a new HiFi subscription tier, podcasts featuring former President Barack Obama and rockstar Bruce Springsteen as co-hosts, and Streaming Ad Insertion to sell ads even on podcasts.

Following those announcements, The Verge interviewed Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, and he talked about what it’s like competing with Apple.

Asked about the new HiFi subscription tier with hardware partnership to come, since Apple is already established in this area, Ek told them he would “have been a lot more concerned if consumers were locked into just one ecosystem.”

He also said:

We have something internally that we call the Ubiquity Strategy, and what you saw me talking about today is the fact that we have 2,000 (hardware) partnerships now (…) If it was just an Apple, or just a Google, or just an Amazon that kind of owned the consumer across their entire ecosystem. That is a very concerning development, if it were to be true.

In the interview, the Spotify CEO said that Apple is “very strong on mobiles in many markets,” while Amazon is “very strong in their homes.”

Even though Spotify joined last September the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit intended to coordinate efforts to take on Apple, he also told The Verge that “the one thing that is true about Spotify is we play nice on all of them, and I believe we’re the only player that has that relationship where we’re now on 2,000 devices, and we play nice on all of them.”

In 2019, Apple said that Spotify “wants all the benefits of a free app without being free” in response to EU complaints, but after that, things calmed down and the focus has shifted to Epic.

Since then, Spotify launched an app for the Apple Watch in November and is also testing a redesign CarPlay application. The iOS 14.5 beta briefly suggested that you will be able to set Spotify as your default music player, though this was removed in the second beta.

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