Spotify takes aim at Apple with OOH campaign

Spotify takes aim at Apple with OOH campaign
The Media Plan

Spotify has launched a “censored” campaign in the UK to highlight restrictions that Apple has on in-app payments and promotions.

The work, across outdoor and email, is the latest in the audio company’s “Time to Play Fair” campaign, which has called on the government to pass changes to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill to stop “anti-competitive” practices by Apple and promote a fairer digital market.

Spotify has called Apple “outrageous” for charging a 27% fee for in-app transactions outside its App Store.

Creative for the campaign deliberately blocked out information about a free three-month trial for the premium plan. This was accompanied by an explanation of the limitations currently imposed by Apple on its App Store around showing deals to users and what the DMCC bill aims to resolve.

Activity ran across OOH sites in key London locations during 1-3 February, including a billboard in Leicester Square as well as bus stops and telephone boxes in Westminster. Spotify also targeted eligible iPhone users with an email highlighting its “censored” premium offer.

This comes as the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which was welcomed by Spotify and led the company to announce it would change how its iPhone app would now include previously banned in-app payments and promotions of its own services.

April Boyd, head of global government affairs and public policy at Spotify, said: “For far too long, Apple’s anti-competitive practices have kept UK consumers in the dark about ways to save money. We want to show consumers what a fairer digital market should look like, with better access to information, greater convenience and new promotions.

“This is why Spotify supports a strong DMCC bill that creates a level playing field, ensuring the UK remains a leading market for digital innovation.”

Separately, Spotify is calling on the European Commission to take further action against Apple for its proposed changes to the DMA.

In a statement, Spotify said: “Apple is nothing if not consistent. While they have behaved badly for years, this takes the level of arrogance to an entirely new place. Under the false pretence of compliance and concessions, they put forward a new plan that is a complete and total farce. Essentially, the old tax was rendered unacceptable under the DMA, so they created a new one masquerading as compliance with the law.”

The campaign was created by Topham Guerin.

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