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'Solid irony here': The cofounder of speaker firm Sonos called out Spotify billionaire Daniel Ek for criticizing Apple's closed system

sonos ceo john macfarlane

  • The cofounder of smart speaker firm Sonos called out Spotify CEO Daniel Ek for his remarks on Apple's closed ecosystem.
  • In a Wednesday interview with Bloomberg News, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had said Apple has a long way to go before it's an "open and fair platform." Spotify is currently pursuing an antitrust complaint against Apple.
  • Shortly after Ek's remarks, Sonos cofounder John MacFarlane said it was "significantly more difficult to work within Spotify's 'closed' ecosystem than Apple's."
  • Sonos, which makes high-end speakers, is reliant on third-party partnerships with services like Spotify, and it's clear those haven't always gone smoothly.
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The cofounder of smart speaker firm Sonos has called out Spotify, after its billionaire CEO Daniel Ek spoke negatively about Apple's closed ecosystem.

In a Wednesday interview with Bloomberg News, Spotify's Ek had said Apple has a long way to go before it's an "open and fair platform." Spotify is currently pursuing an antitrust complaint against Apple, and the two operate competing music streaming services.

But Ek's comments attracted the ire of Sonos cofounder John MacFarlane, who claimed it was "significantly more difficult to work within Spotify's 'closed' ecosystem than Apple's."

"Respect and appreciate both companies, but 'open' Spotify is not," MacFarlane added, while noting that he's worked closely with both companies.

 

Sonos offers high-end smart speakers, and relies on its partnerships with third parties like Spotify to offer music streaming, podcasts, radio, and audiobooks through its dedicated app. MacFarlane's comments suggest that not every aspect of Sonos' partnership with Spotify has gone smoothly. Spotify is the world's biggest music streaming service globally by number of users.

In March 2019, Spotify filed a formal complaint against Apple, with Ek claiming that the tech giant "introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience."

In particular, he complained that Spotify and other digital services were forced to pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, thereby forcing those services to ramp up their prices "well above" the price of Apple's own Apple Music streaming service.

SEE ALSO: Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says Apple has a long way to go before it's an 'open and fair platform' as the two firms war over competition

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