Pending Supreme Court antitrust decision could alter music-streaming landscape

Posted on: November 29, 2018

“The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to allow an antitrust lawsuit to move forward that could force Apple to cut its 30 percent transaction fee it charges software developers who sell apps through iTunes and its App Store,” writes Cherie Hu in Tuesday’s (11/27) Billboard.com. “Oral arguments for Apple Inc. v. Pepper … were heard Monday (Nov. 26) … with the federal court expressing near-unanimous, bipartisan support for the consumers’ right to sue.… Apple’s App Store puts almost every rival music streaming service at a pricing disadvantage, forcing them to tack on Apple’s 30 percent transaction fee as an extra cost to the end user…. Genre-specific offerings like IDAGIO and Primephonic for classical music … keep their iOS prices consistent with those in Android and web environments. Why would smaller music apps … as well as bigger players … opt to sacrifice such a significant portion of their monthly revenue? … One potential answer is that the App Store provides valuable mass-market exposure to underdog apps and developers, and user acquisition remains a costly challenge even for the most seasoned companies.”

Posted November 29, 2018