Apple is under suspicion of pressuring music labels to opt for its streaming music services over “freemium” ones offered by popular companies such as Spotify.
The tech giant has been in the media spotlight following the announcement of its paid music subscription service, Apple Music, this past week.
Before the service’s official introduction, however, attorney generals from New York and Connecticut conducted investigations into potential antitrust violations committed in negotiations between Apple and music companies, reports the New York Times.
Apple’s streaming service costs $9.99 a month, which is the same price as Spotify’s. However, Spotify also offers freemium services that are typically free trials supported by advertising revenues. Spotify and many other companies that use the freemium business model hope users will eventually pay for subscriptions that include the same services with bonus perks (ad-free music, listening offline) after their trial has expired.
Investigators want to know whether Apple is pressuring or conspiring with other music labels to withdraw their artists from platforms utilizing freemium services.
Wildly famous and successful pop singer Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify last fall before releasing her record-hitting album “1989,” which sold a million copies within its first week. She has since joined Apple’s music services after protesting against Spotify last year for giving away artists’ music for free.