First Rhapsody lashed out at Apple over the new App Store requirement mandating a 30% cut off-the-top of all in-app subscriptions and purchases, and now Last.fm co-founder Richard Jone is joining the cry, saying that “Apple [has] just f*cked over online music subs for the iPhone.”
Arguing that “many services can’t survive a 30 percent loss of revenue” then specifying Spotify by name, Jones theorizes that Apple is specifically out to drive competitors from the platform. Amazon’s Kindle, for example, competes directly with Apple’s own iBookstore, while Spotify, Last.fm and Rhapsody presumably compete with Apple’s own aspirations to bring iTunes to the cloud.
As GigaOm notes, Last.fm and Rhapsody aren’t alone in saying that a 30% cut is simply impossible to swallow. Similar comments were made by streaming music company We7, who say that a 30 percent cut to Apple “makes music subscriptions economically unviable.”
I’m with Jones, here. Apple’s trying to drive out competitors in the streaming music business before the launch of their own streaming music subscription service. Apple’s given companies until June 30th to comply… not so surprisingly, right around the time the next iPhone (and iOS 5) hit. I’d be willing to bet money that Apple will unveil iTunes in the Cloud at the same time.