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Spotify hits a speed bump as its India launch is stalled over licensing issues

Spotify recently partnered with T-series to launch in India

India has a lot of music applications. There are a lot of companies who have their music on music streaming platforms and the users are scattered over many such platforms. No one dominates the market in this marketplace and there are players who are looking to do so. Amazon Music, Google’s Play Music and also other apps such as Gaana and Wynk also have a lot of users. However, none of them have been able to really attract a majority of the user base.

That said, Spotify, one of the world’s best music streaming platform, was gearing up to launch in India. It had its launch geared up for 31st January but things have gone south for the Swedish company. The company has failed to launch on the deadline and that is because of the Warner Music Group has filed a case against the company. From Spotify’s perspective, WMG has revoked the license given to Spotify for using the music of artists under their label for reasons which are totally unreliable to the Indian launch.

A Spotify spokesperson was talking to Inc42 when he said that WMG decided to leverage WCM’s local Indian publishing rights and this is done to extract concessions from Spotify and the company thinks it is abusive to do so. “Warner Music Group instructed Warner/Chappell Music to file for an injunction in an attempt to leverage WCM’s local Indian publishing rights, to extract concessions in WMG’s global renewal negotiations for musical recordings,” he stated.

The WMG spokesperson, however, differed from the same. He said that Spotify changed the course of negotiations and instilled licenses for the songwriters’ under WMG banners so that the company could enter India. He also said that the negotiations with Spotify could end up this being just a speed bump and they can continue to grow on the road as well.

“After months of negotiations, Spotify abruptly changed course and has falsely asserted a statutory license for our songwriters’ music publishing rights in India. We had no choice but to ask an Indian court for an injunction to prevent this. It’s our goal to hammer out a deal that works for everyone. We hope this is just a speed bump in the expansion of our long and successful global partnership,” he said. The spokesperson was talking to Variety.

Spotify has prepared a lot for the Indian launch. They have partnered with one of the giants in India when it comes to the Indian music scene. T-series has promised the entire library of music the company has when Spotify quoted the right price. However, this problem could just be a puddle on the highway. Daniel Ek, the CEO of the company said that such things are common in the music streaming industry. This is because licensing problems are aplenty when it comes to using music produced by multiple companies. This is also the same.

It is not yet clear as to when the company will announce the launch date or they will just launch it without creating a fuss like they did a couple of months ago. Only time will tell as Spotify could just enter the Indian market and disrupt this not so exploited market.

-Unmesh Phule

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