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Still Waiting for Spotify's Apple TV App? Don't Hold Your Breath

The leading music streaming service won't be making the jump to tvOS anytime soon
October 18, 2016

Whither Spotify for Apple TV?

It’s been over a year since the the fourth-generation Apple TV was announced in September 2015, and by the end of the month, it will have been a year since it was officially launched. But Spotify remains a high-profile holdout on the Apple TV front.

Even though so much time has elapsed, Spotify continues to defy expectations as it still hasn’t released an official app for the set-top box, which, thanks to its own operating system called tvOS, is the first Apple TV model to support downloading of third-party apps through its own App Store.

And according to one of its customer representatives, the Swedish music streaming company is not keen on going beyond its AirPlay support for Apple TV and coming out with its own Apple TV app soon.

Samuel Erdtman, Product Owner at Spotify, said, “To support tvOS has been down prioritized.”

Samuel Erdtman, Product Owner at Spotify, said, “To support tvOS has been down prioritized.”

In a comment posted just hours ago on a thread on the code sharing website GitHub discussing the leading music streaming service’s tvOS version, Samuel Erdtman, Product Owner at Spotify, said, “To support tvOS has been down prioritized.” He apologetically added that a release supporting tvOS should not be expected anytime soon.

It’s unclear what has prompted Spotify to move tvOS support down its list of priorities. It may have something to do with the company’s fight with Apple over policies concerning subscription revenue sharing and blocking of external subscription links. Or perhaps Spotify has somehow come to the realization that the Apple TV hasn’t been performing to expectation.

Apple Music on Apple TV.

Apple Music on Apple TV.

To be sure, it’s not super important for all media companies to jump onto tvOS, seeing as the platform still has users hanging and waiting for something really impressive and exciting about it. But for Spotify in particular, it seems like a blown opportunity.

To support tvOS has been down prioritized.

- Samuel Erdtman, Product Owner at Spotify

There is no denying that Apple Music is rapidly closing the gap on the lead Spotify built years before Apple entered the market. (Launched in late June 2015, Apple Music now has 17 million subscribers, compared with the 40 million subscribers that currently pay Spotify, which was launched in September 2008.) And one of the main draws for people entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem is that Apple Music “just works” across all Apple devices. So while a user on the fence about streaming music might lean toward Spotify because he or she has heard that it’s by and large the best, someone might break the deal by saying, “Oh, but for the same price you can play music on your TV too.”

To wit: Spotify should sort out its priorities and should not let the Apple TV be the straw that breaks its back.

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