Did Warner Music cause delay in Spotify’s launch, in India?


Spotify has been going out of its way to enter into the Indian market.

Since the time that the Swedish streaming service first mentioned about its plan to enter the Indian shores, there has been a lot of excitement on one side and a whole world of legal tussles on the other.

All said and done, Spotify has finally made its official launch in India. But why did it take so long? As reported earlier, one of the reasons was that the negotiations with T-Series weren’t happening too well. There’s also another side to it where the third largest music group in the world, Warner Music Group, tried to cause more hurdles for the company’s India launch.

Spotify called out WMG’s abusive behavior after the latter filed a court injunction to prevent Spotify from offering songs on its roster, to the Indian audience. This includes music from the likes of Katy Perry, Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, and Led Zeppelin among others.

“Warner Music Group (WMG) instructed Warner/Chappell Music (WCM) 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”, a Spotify spokesperson told ETtech in a statement.

“All other major labels and publishers have already agreed on economics and to license their music, and Spotify has also entered into a license with the local collecting society, while Warner/Chappell Music remains the lone hold-out needed for a Spotify launch in India” a Spotify spokesperson told ETtech, with regard to WMG’s revoking of a previously agreed publishing license.

This situation, which Spotify called out as a form of abuse, has left them with no choice but to file a statutory license. “This statutory license, which allows for application to internet-based services, prevents WMG’s abusive practices while ensuring all rights holders are compensated fairly. Under the statutory license, Spotify will pay WCM and their rights holders rates that are in-line with the rates Spotify agreed to pay the leading Indian music entities, ensuring everyone involved will benefit from the new audiences and significant revenue the Indian market will bring. We will continue to assess our options at this stage” the company spokesperson told ETtech in a statement.

With all that happening in the background, Spotify has successfully managed to make its way into the Indian market, where the growth potential is immense!

Pavan Kumar


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