Apple and Spotify are reportedly trying to work out a deal that would let Siri play content from the third-party streaming service.
The two companies are currently in talks to discuss a potential “truce,” sources familiar with the discussions told The Information. The change would let Apple users ask Siri to play songs, playlists and albums from Spotify — something that’s currently not supported.
But along with the underlying feature that would let Siri even access third-party content, the talks also have to overcome a somewhat tenuous relationship between the two firms.
The specific change that the two companies appear to be discussing is a tweak to SiriKit in iOS 13. The change opens up the digital assistant and gives it the ability to access content from third-party sources.
Currently, Siri can only access content from Apple sources, such as Apple Music and Apple Podcasts.
That change to SiriKit will allow third-party developers to bake Siri support right into their app, allowing end users to access features of their apps using Siri voice commands.
For example, if the talks work out, a user would be able to say “Hey Siri, play Today’s Top Hits from Spotify.”
Apple has opened up Siri to third-party platforms a bit in the past. Siri is currently able to access features for third-party messaging, ride-sharing, payment, photo platforms and VoIP apps. Currently, it doesn’t work with music streaming apps, however.
A source told The Information that Apple Music would remain the default music platform for Apple devices. That’ll probably mean that users will need to specifically ask for content on Spotify during a voice command.
Of course, while Apple is making the change possible with the update to the SiriKit API, it’s actually up to developers to introduce Siri support in their own apps.
Apple vs Spotify
Apple and Spotify aren’t currently on the best of terms. That’s likely why the discussions are even happening in the first place.
Back in March, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Apple’s App Store rules were anticompetitive.
More specifically, Spotify claimed that the App Store unfairly favored Apple’s own services and that specific regulations “limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience.”
One example Spotify gave is the 30 percent cut that Apple takes for in-app purchases. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that the fee gives Apple Music an “unfair advantage.” Ek also complained about “experience-limiting restrictions,” such as Siri’s inability to play content from other music platforms.
The complaint, it’s worth noting, led to a formal antitrust investigation of Apple’s App Store practices by the European Competition Commission. The investigation is still ongoing.
The tides may be turning, however. On Spotify’s website detailing its dispute with Apple, the company recently changed some wording to suggest that Siri can actually support Spotify commands.
What once read “Apple … definitely won’t let us connect with Siri” has been updated to “only recently, Apple announced that it will let us connect with Siri.”