Spotify Seeking to Bar Apps That Transfer to Other Music Services From Using SDK

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Spotify is reportedly seeking to admonish developers who use its API for apps that allow users to transfer to a rival music streaming service, such as Apple Music, by revoking access to the Spotify SDK.

Developers who facilitate users with the ability to copy their Spotify library and playlists to other services are being informed that their access to the Spotify SDK is to be revoked.

Music streaming service transfer app SongShift has issued a post saying that it has been told to stop offering transfers away from Spotify or it will lose access to the Spotify SDK.

Unfortunately, as of SongShift v5.1.2, you will no longer be able to create transfers from Spotify to another music service. We understand this will be a disappointment for a lot of you. We wish we didn’t have to.

The Spotify Developer Platform Team reached out and let us know we’d need to remove transferring from their service to a competing music service or have our API access revoked due to TOS violation.

Spotify has allowed SongShift to continue offering transfers into its service, however. Only transfers out to other streaming services have been blocked.

The move is backed by Spotify’s developer agreement, which states that developers should not “transfer Spotify Content… to another music service that competes with Spotify or the Spotify Service.”

In recent months, Spotify has heavily criticized Apple for anti-competitive behavior. The company has joined the “Coalition for App Fairness” to “fight back” against Apple, sided with Epic Games over its ongoing dispute with Apple, and formally complained to the European Comission about Apple allegedly stifling competition, resulting in an EU antitrust investigation.

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.

The move to actively prevent users from transferring away from Spotify, thereby constraining competition, seems peculiar as the company has railed against Apple for supposedly doing the same. Interestingly, Apple has not instituted any equivalent bar on transferring away from ‌Apple Music‌ to other streaming services.

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