Spotify solves dispute with Warner Chappell group in India (Updated)

Spotify solves dispute with Warner Chappell group in India (Updated)
Credit: Spotify

Update (15/01/2020): Earlier headline mentioned Beyonce and Led Zeppelin songs will be available in India. While these artists might be represented by Warner Chappell, their music was available under other labels. So until a deal with Warner Music group is struck, their music won’t be available in India. 

Warner Chappell, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, has finally ended its dispute with music streaming giant Spotify after almost a year in India.

Last year, just as Spotify was preparing to launch its music service in India, the Warner group took the company to the Bombay High Court over a licensing deal. Eventually, the Swedish company launched its music service without the Warner group’s music.

Now, both companies have inked a new global deal that includes rights for streaming music in India. It’s notable that currently, the deal is between only Warner Chappell and Spotify. It doesn’t include Warner Music’s other labels. So, artists such as Linkin Park, and Panic at the Disco! might still be missing. We’ve asked Spotify for more clarity, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

In a statement, a Spotify spokesperson said the company is pleased with the outcome:

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.

A spokesperson from Warner Chappell music said that the new deal appropriately values its artists’ value:

We’re happy with this outcome. This new deal appropriately values our songwriters’ music and expands our licensed partnership with Spotify to include India.

Spotify offers premium subscription at Rs 119 ($1.67), and an ad-supported free-tier where folks can play any song of choice. In December, it even offered a yearly subscription to the service at just Rs 699 ($9.87). According to a report by Bloomberg, the service has less than 800,000 paying subscribers in the country.

The company competes with international players such as Apple Music and YouTube Music along with local players such as Gaana, JioSaavn, and Wynk Music. Soon it’ll have to battle it out with TikTok-owner Bytedance’s new app Resso, which is currently in a testing phase in the country.

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