Spotify Ends Dispute With Warner Chappell In India; Will Lead To A Fuller Music Library

After being embroiled in a dispute for over a year, Spotify and Warner Chappell have now signed a multi-territory licensing agreement that includes India. Resultantly, both parties have jointly asked the court to dismiss the pending litigation between the parties, which it has. But, contrary to what has been reported, this development won’t necessarily bring the missing discography of prominent artists like Led Zeppelin and Beyonce.

“In less than a year, millions of Indian listeners have joined Spotify, listening to their favourite artists and songwriters from across the globe. We’re pleased with this agreement, and together with Warner Chappell Music, we look forward to helping songwriters and artists connect with more fans, and for more fans to enjoy and be inspired by their music.”, said a Spotify spokesperson on the deal.

Warner Chappel Music Inc.; like Atlantic, Elektra, Parlophone and Reprise, is a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group which is one of the “big three” record companies in the world. Warner Chappel Music is a music publishing company that works with songwriters and composers, and not artists directly. Hence an act who is signed to Warner Chappell may not necessarily be signed to Warner Music.

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Unless Spotify signs a deal with the Warner Music Group and its subsidiary labels, exhaustive libraries of artists like Coldplay, Linkin Park, Panic at the Disco! and Led Zeppelin will still remain elusive on Spotify India.

Spotify India, according to a report by Bloomberg, has fewer than 800,000 paying Premium subscribers in India. Although the limited library has likely affected its growth, Spotify is still enjoying a decent growth in India where it also launched Spotify Originals podcasts.

But unlike the global market, Spotify faces tough competition in India from homegrown players like Gaana, JioSaavn and Wynk Music, all of which have way more users too. Apple Music, YouTube Music and Amazon Prime Music are further tightening the noose.

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Spotify is battling the competition with its solid algorithm recommendations, original local content, eye-watering promotions and some very interesting campaigns.