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New Payment Options for iOS Music Apps in the EU

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 9, 2024
New Payment Options for iOS Music Apps in the EU

New Payment Options for iOS Music Apps in the EU

Apple is making significant updates to its payment system for music streaming apps within the European Union. According to a recent update spotted by 9to5Mac on the Apple Developer guidelines page, iOS and iPadOS music streaming apps operating in certain EU regions can now direct users to external websites for purchasing content and services.

This adjustment enables developers to offer alternative payment methods outside of Apple’s in-app purchase system. Additionally, developers have the option to request users’ email addresses, allowing for direct communication of links to these external payment options.

This development follows the European Union’s investigation into Apple’s compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), initiated in March.

The EU’s scrutiny led to a substantial €1.8 billion fine ($1.95 billion) against Apple in early March for its practices that previously restricted music streaming app developers from informing iOS users about more affordable subscription options available outside the app. Such restrictions were deemed illegal under the DMA, which started to be enforced in May 2023, as they were seen as a form of “anti-steering” that limited free market competition.

The fine and the subsequent EU investigation, which also looked into the practices of other tech giants like Meta and Google, highlighted concerns regarding the companies’ adherence to the DMA. The European Commission was particularly focused on ensuring that developers could freely communicate with users about offers and directly conclude contracts without unnecessary charges imposed by platform owners.

Apple Responds to EU Regulations

Apple’s guideline update is a direct response to these concerns, aiming to enhance transparency and allow users in the EU to make informed decisions about where and how to pay for their music subscriptions. By enabling links to external payment options, Apple is not only aligning with the DMA’s requirements but also opening up new avenues for developers to engage with their users regarding payment methods.

This change marks a pivotal update in Apple’s approach to app payments and subscriptions in the EU, allowing for a more open ecosystem that could benefit both developers and users by providing more choices for payment methods.

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Featured Image courtesy of Mark Makela/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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