For Apple, competing with Spotify nowadays should be like capturing fish in a barrel, with an elephant gun, at point-blank vary. It’s not simply that Apple Music has an enormous benefit over Spotify within the high quality of its content material library, however relatively that Spotify retains handing its clients to Apple on a silver platter by taking months and even years to assist even essentially the most primary options of the Apple ecosystem.
Spotify has been accusing Apple of anti-competitive conduct for years, together with assertions that Apple intentionally hampers rival streaming companies by locking them out of platform options which are in any other case obtainable to its personal Apple Music app.
Whereas Spotify isn’t solely improper, it’s additionally onerous for it to take the ethical excessive floor when it fails to undertake new options when Apple opens them up.
For instance, when Apple launched the unique HomePod in early 2018, one of many chief complaints many had in opposition to it was the restricted assist for any streaming music companies past Apple Music. But, when Apple lastly introduced assist for third-party music companies in 2020, Spotify was conspicuously absent from the listing — regardless of loudly complaining over a 12 months earlier that Apple was “locking Spotify and different opponents out of Apple companies akin to Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.”
At that time, the ball was clearly in Spotify’s court docket, but the corporate refused to select it up, a lot much less run with it. Even Deezer rapidly added HomePod assist, but Spotify doesn’t seem like even entertaining the thought at this level.
Whereas HomePod assist doesn’t appear to be on the desk, Spotify did decide to supporting AirPlay 2, which may supply an inexpensive workaround for iPhone customers with HomePods, Apple TVs, or different AirPlay-compatible units. Nevertheless, it’s anyone’s guess when that’s truly going to reach.
To make issues worse, not like the HomePod, Apple has by no means restricted third-party assist for its AirPlay streaming protocol. AirPlay 2 made its debut in 2018 and was obtainable to third-party builders from the very starting. Spotify customers have been clamoring for it since early 2019.
These requests appeared to fall totally on deaf ears till August 2021, when Spotify initially mentioned it had no plans so as to add it earlier than reversing course a number of days later to verify that “Spotify will assist Airplay 2.”
Nevertheless, the corporate notably didn’t decide to a timeframe, and anyone who had adopted Spotify’s glacial adoption of different Apple options most likely wasn’t holding their breath. In any case, it took till 2018 for Spotify to launch an Apple Watch app that was little greater than a glorified distant management for the Spotify iPhone app — one thing the corporate ought to have been in a position to do in 2015.
It wasn’t till two years later that the watchOS app gained direct streaming assist and 6 months after that earlier than offline playback got here to the wearable. The corporate acknowledged that “With Watch OS 5, Apple allowed the Spotify staff to start out creating offline performance” in September 2018, but it surely took them over two years earlier than they had been in a position to ship the function.
AirPlay 2 Is Coming ‘Ultimately’
So, it’s most likely unsurprising that AirPlay 2 assist is a marathon for Spotify relatively than a dash. The excellent news is that it seems like the corporate hasn’t forgotten about its dedication, even when it stays noncommittal about when it can occur.
On this week’s Energy On publication at Bloomberg, Mark Gurman says Spotify has informed him that, whereas there’s no hope for HomePod assist, AirPlay 2 continues to be on the roadmap. Type of.
Spotify stays dedicated to supporting AirPlay 2 in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later. We’re on a path in the direction of making it occur finally, however we can not state when that can be at this stage.Spotify, in an announcement to Mark Gurman
To say that AirPlay 2 isn’t a precedence for Spotify is clearly an understatement. Almost 5 years after Apple debuted the extra succesful wi-fi streaming normal, Spotify stays imprecise about when it is going to be in a position to ship on it.
What In regards to the HomePod?
As for the HomePod, Spotify informed Gurman that there isn’t a “vital quantity” of complaints concerning the lack of HomePod assist. Spotify claims there are solely “18 feedback on Reddit and 138 tweets concerning the challenge.”
Now we have to imagine they’ve missed the 161-page thread with 6,007 votes on their very own group boards, which has been persistently constructing for the reason that function request was first made in June 2020.
I assume 158 pages over 3 years isn’t a “vital quantity” of complaints…milanstojanov, Spotify Group Boards
After we final reported on this in November 2021, the thread sat at 104 pages. It’s been rising steadily since then, crammed nearly solely with frustration from Spotify clients on the firm’s intransigence. Many have already left for Apple Music, whereas others seem like loyal subscribers genuinely saddened and pissed off by the shortage of assist and are reluctantly contemplating a swap to Apple Music simply to get correct assist for his or her Apple units.