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Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

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Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Regular

I have developed an app that utilizes the Spotify iOS SDK. Unfortunately, when I submitted my app to the Apple App Store, it was rejected. Apple provided the following information:

 

“To resolve this issue, please attach documentary evidence in the App Review Information section in App Store Connect evidencing that you have all necessary rights or permissions to the third-party audio or video streaming, catalogs, and discovery services in your app. The documentation from Spotify should include specific rights (authorization) to stream their content in your app. Please note that providing links to Spotify’s generic terms and conditions are not sufficient to resolve this issue.”

 

I have tried numerous approaches to get a response from Spotify. First, I tweeted @SpotifyPlatform and did not receive a response. Next, I had numerous direct message conversations with @SpotifyCares on Twitter but they were unable to help. Additionally, I submitted an application to build a commercial app about two months ago and still have not received a response. Finally, I tried reaching out to Spotify’s customer support but they were also unable to help. 

 

How can I go about getting in contact with someone at Spotify who has the authorization to provide the necessary permissions I need? Thank you in advance for any help you are able to provide!

10 Replies
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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Casual Listener

I’ve been developing an app and just now found the form you included in your post. Wondering if you were able to figure this out? Have you heard back yet and / or have you found a better way to contact them? 

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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Regular
Unfortunately, no. I have tried a plethora of different ways to get in touch with ANYONE at Spotify. I managed to actually talk to someone through the customer support chat (https://support.spotify.com/us/contact-spotify-support/) and @SpotifyCares on Twitter. However, both just send me to the Spotify Developer Support page (https://developer.spotify.com/support/). I have tried everything listed on the Spotify Developer Support page (hence this post) and nothing has worked. I would recommend not integrating Spotify because it seems like it is impossible to actually get the necessary permissions. However, if you manage to get in touch with someone, please let me know! I really do not want to see all my hard work go to waste. I hope this helps!
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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Casual Listener
Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear that. What I’m wondering is how other apps have
gotten their approvals..? Have you tried to reach out to any of them?
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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Regular
I have not. Which apps have received Spotify's approval? I would be willing to try to get in touch with them!
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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Casual Listener
Based on the fact that Apple denied yours for not having written
permission, and these apps are in the App Store, I’m guessing they have
received permission...? Here’s a few:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/passtheaux/id1244506906

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/auxbox/id1439952652

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/soundshare/id437060737

Want to email me directly? *snip*


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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Regular

@spotifyjosh or @_milena would either of you be willing to look into this problem for me? I would be immensely grateful! 

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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Regular
I am still having this problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Casual Listener

Those other two people didn’t respond to you? Who are they anyway? 

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Re: Obtaining authorization from Spotify to stream their content in my app

Casual Listener

I am working on an iOS application that is using the Spotify API so interested in this topic. Also had issues with App Store review related to 3rd party service/HW with another app.

TL;DR: I would try to get this resolved via Apple by an App Review Board appeal or suggesting a guideline change pointing to the Spotify developer terms.

 

  • Apple started enforcing this rule (5.2.1) much more strictly after iOS 13 came out.  So apps that came out before iOS 13 didn't have to deal with this. I was struggling to get an update to my smart TV remote app approved for months. Then randomly got approved when submitted a bug fix. Other devs had to ask for help from developer relations (for which you have to know somebody from Apple who works on that team)
  • So one thing you can do is keep submitting builds and see if you can slip by a reviewer. Kinda risky because then they will get you when submitting an update later.
  • Apple says that the generic terms are not enough but Spotify's terms are actually pretty detailed when it comes to the developer licence details. It would make sense for you to submit an appeal quoting https://developer.spotify.com/terms/#iii and see where it goes.
    Additionally, you can try using the new feature to submit a guideline change suggestion via https://developer.apple.com/contact/app-store/?topic=guideline
    Again, reference the Spotify developer terms. If Apple says it doesn't accept generic terms, point them to section 1: "If you use the Spotify Platform, you will be deemed to have accepted this Agreement and entered into a legally binding contract with Spotify AB (“Spotify”, “we”, and sometimes “us”)."
  • Before you go through that though... Based on the Spotify developer terms you have to determine if you have the license to stream Spotify in your app at all. If your app is a "Streaming SDA" then it sounds like your app must be a non-commercial app. My solution to that is only remote-controlling the Spotify app via the web API instead of streaming.

I will try to post my experience once I submitted my app.

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